Tale of two halves: Tift falls 41-33 to Colquitt

Head Coach Ashley Anders’ boys made their town proud Friday night by standing toe-to-toe with one of the best high school football teams in the country and trading blows for a full 48 minutes. Tift County dug itself a hole in a mistake-filled first half and eventually lost 41-33 to the Colquitt County Packers, but the final score does not tell the whole story.

Sophomore Griffin Collier led Tift to 4 Second half TDs and 411 yards against the nations 4th-ranked team. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

Sophomore Griffin Collier led Tift to 4 Second half TDs and 411 yards against the nations 4th-ranked team. Photo: Shine Rankin Jr./SGSN

“I couldn’t be prouder of these boys,” said a disappointed Anders after the game. “We outplayed them in the second half, put ourselves in a position to win, and that’s all you can ask. We made a lot of mistakes in the first half, and in the end we just dug ourselves too big a hole to get out of.”

Tift trailed 31-6 at the half but won the second half 27-10.

The night belonged to two Blue Devils. Sophomore quarterback Griffin Collier came of age on the huge stage in Moultrie coming within a whisker of breaking Tift’s single game passing record, and senior receiver R.J. Merriweather was a big part of it.

Collier’s 411 yards passing against the nation’s fourth ranked football team was just nine yards shy of a record set by the legendary Ken Hobby 35 years ago. Merriweather’s 247 yards receiving on just nine catches reminded fans of the “Gannon Hall Game” when Hall racked up 271 yards. Three of Merriweather’s catches went for touchdowns of 11, 76 and 96 yards.

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