Colquitt has huge 2nd Half, wins 62-21 over Tift

Tifton – Colquitt County clinched its first region championship since 1999 with a convincing 62-21 win over Tift County Friday night. The win was Colquitt’s sixth in-a-row over Tift which now must rebound quickly as the Devils, for all intents and purposes, start the playoffs next week at Lowndes.

“I told our kids to forget this game,” said Tift Head Coach John Reid after the game. “Whether you lose 21-20 or 62-21, what’s the difference? We’ve got to get on the bus next week and go to Lowndes. The playoffs begin next week.”
Lowndes and Tift now have identical 6-3 (1-3) records after the Vikings lost 13-10 to Valdosta last night. There is no chance of a three-way tie or anything else. Flat out, next week’s game is a winner moves on and loser goes home contest. It is a playoff game.
Lee County and Valdosta are both 3-1 in the region and will play next week in Leesburg for second place and the right to host a playoff game. The Tift-Lowndes winner will play at Tucker in the first round. Tucker defeated Lovejoy last night in a battle for Region 2 supremacy. Colquitt County, coached by the infamous Rush Propst, came into Tifton ranked No.4 in the country and proved why in every facet of the game. The Packer offense came within a point of the 63 they put on Tift in 2010 amassing 577 yards of total offense. The defense was even more impressive punishing Blue Devil ball carriers into submission down the stretch.
Tift opened the second half with a brilliant 46-yard kickoff return by Malik Henry. With the ball at the Colquitt 29, the Devils scored in four plays and got to within a score at 29-21. From there, the Packers scored five unanswered touchdowns and sent the Tift crowd home early much to the delight of a huge Colquitt crowd in the visitor’s stands.
Junior quarterback Chase Parrish threw the ball early and often against the Tift defense. He finished the game with 293 yards and two touchdowns on 21 of 30 passing. Most of his passes were either screens or short throws that receivers like running backs Sihiem King and Ty Lee tuned into big gains.
King lined up in the slot and took what looked to be a harmless little screen 80 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first snap. He would finish with 6 catches for 120 yards. King was the region’s leading rusher coming into the game averaging 7.7 yards per carry. He rushed for 83 yards and one touchdown on 20 carries against the Devils.
Lee caught four passes out of the back field for 62 yards including a 35-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. He also returned a punt 67 yards for a score in the first half. Grump Jones ran for 88 yards on four carries. One of those carries was a 71-yard score in the fourth quarter.
Tift was down 10-0 after just 64 seconds had elapsed off the clock following King’s first score and a Tift fumble set up Luis Martinez’ first field goal. Undaunted, the Devils put together a lightning quick, 4-play, 67-yard scoring drive set up by a nifty kickoff return by Malik Henry. Quarterback Tajhea Chambers ran for 40 yards on first down and finished the drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Quay Duggins.
The score was 13-7 Colquitt after the first quarter before Lee’s punt return put the Packers up 20-7. Tift got back to within one score when Chambers and Henry put together the single most spectacular play of the year to date. Chambers used his strength to break away from a sure sack on a third and 11 play. He then muscled an off balanced pass to Henry  who was breaking back to the ball because Chambers was in trouble.
Henry then took the ball and broke two tackles at the point of reception, raced toward the middle of the field where he found a tiny crease that got him into the clear. Racing toward the end zone, he had to make another move before diving in for the score. Henry had six catches for 119 yards and the TD.Chambers ran the ball 13 times for 93 yards and a score but was also sacked several times for 25 yards in losses. In addition, he was 10 for 15 passing for 149 yards and a score. Berry Bennett ran for 59 yards. Tift had 335 yards in total offense.

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