Colquitt County holds off Archer for AAAAAA state title

Colquitt County returned to the championship podium for the first time since 1994 with its 28-24 victory over Archer. The victory capped off a perfect 15-0 season for the Packers and ended Gwinnett’s four-year reign of the state title in Georgia’s highest classification. The victory also marked a milestone in Packers head coach Rush Propst’s career, as the seven-year Colquitt County head coach captured his first state crown since his five championships won at Hoover High School.

“I did not save Colquitt County,” said Propst while holding the championship trophy, “Colquitt County saved me. They gave me my second chance.”

The Packers brought one of the biggest crowds the state championship has seen at the Dome and it was a mix of schools around South Georgia hoping to return the title back to Georgia’s southern hemisphere.

“We [south Georgia teams] may beat each other up during the season, but we come together when the stakes are high like this, said Propst.”

The Packers received the opening kickoff and picked up a first down before Archer forced a punt and would put the ball in the hands of the explosive Tigers offense for the first time. On its opening drive, Archer made two key third down conversions along with a successful 4th down gamble and found the endzone on a 4-yard Dylan Singleton touchdown run.

Trailing 7-0, Colquitt County quarterback Chase Parrish answered on the next possession and floated a perfectly thrown ball down the sideline to senior Marquan Greene for a 40-yard touchdown. Less than a minute later, Parrish tossed his second touchdown (this time to running back Sihiem King) which was set up by an interception and Colquitt would take its first lead of the game (14-7). Archer knotted it back up at 14-14 two minutes later with a 55-yard touchdown pass from Tiller to Singleton.

To open the second quarter, Archer regained the lead with Cole Fisher’s 47-yard field goal. Archer got more opportunities to put points on the board before the half, but the offense could not produce. Following a muffed punt by Colquitt County, Archer took over deep in Packers territory but on third down, Archer receiver Kyle Davis could not come down with a would-be touchdown catch and then Fisher’s field goal try was blocked on fourth down. Colquitt County took advantage of the seven-point swing and orchestrated a nine-play 80-yard drive that was capped off with a 1-yard touchdown dive by Sihiem King. Archer got the ball back with 45 seconds left in the half and a timeout to burn but elected to run out the clock and go into the locker room with its 21-17 deficit.

In the second half, Parrish found Qwazavia Lee for his third touchdown pass and put Colquitt ahead 28-17. Archer answered right back with 2:56 left in the quarter on a 22-yard Singleton touchdown run but the Colquitt defense and King’s ability to ice the game was too much for Archer to overcome Colquitt County’s four-point advantage.

King finished with 33 carries for 135 yards and his two-touchdown performance gave him his 18th trip to the endzone this postseason. Parrish was efficient and made the necessary throws to keep the drives alive and finished an outstanding 17-of-22 passing for 190 yards and three scores.

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