By S. Thomas Coleman
For the AJC
Cole Seagraves traveled four hours away from home to find redemption.
Colquitt County’s senior quarterback passed for a school-record 354 yards and rushed for another 46 as the Packers (8-3), the fourth seed from Region 1AAAAAA, held on to edge McEachern (8-3), 30-28, at Walter H. Cantrell Stadium in Powder Springs.
Seagraves was once one of the state’s hottest recruits as a junior. But when he struggled early this season, he was replaced as the starter and eventually ended up in a platoon at the position with junior Daniel Mobley. But with Mobley out with a shoulder injury, the job was all Seagraves on Friday night. He did not disappoint.
He hit on his first seven passes in leading the Packers to a 14-10 lead early in the second quarter. On its first possession, after McEachern began the scoring with a 39-yard field goal by Dennis Dominquez, Colquitt marched 76 yards in nine plays out of a variety of spread formations. Seagraves banged in from four yards out to put the Packers up 7-3.
McEachern answered with a long drive of its own, 71 yards in 10 plays, with quarterback Ty Clemons hitting Trey Scott in the back of the endzone from 13 yards out to put the Indians up 10-7. But Colquitt went ahead for good on its next possession. Seagraves led a 12-play, 80-yard drive that John Boatwright punctuated with a 1-yard touchdown run to make the score 14-10, Packers.
After the teams exchanged field goals, Seagraves gave his team a little breathing room when he hit Todd Boyd along the near sideline, and Boyd did the rest – breaking a tackle and then outrunning the McEachern secondary for a 52-yard touchdown that put the Packers up 24-13 with just 2 minutes left in the third quarter.
But the Region 1AAAAAA champs wouldn’t go away. Senior quarterback Ty Griffin led the Indians on a quick scoring drive and scored from four yards out, and then added a two-point conversion run to pull the Indians to within 24-21.
But Seagraves went to work again. He led an 80-yard march, which began with him completing four consecutive passes. Boatwright capped the drive with his second short touchdown run of the game, a 2-yarder, to increase the Colquitt lead to 30-21.
Seagraves completed 22-of-28 passes on the night, 11 going to Ole Miss commit Bobby Hill, who had 158 yards receiving. Seagraves tied the record that was set by Tyler Brown in the 2010 AAAAA state final, which Colquitt lost 52-38.
The Packers will remain on the road next week when they face Newnan in the second round.
Colquitt County 7 10 7 6 30
McEachern 10 0 3 15 28
M – Dennis Dominguez 39 fg
C – Cole Seagraves 4 run (William Bannister kick)
M – Trey Scott 13 pass from Ty Clemons (Dominguez kick)
C – John Boatwright 1 run (Bannister kick)
C – Tyler Yost 29 fg
M – Dominguez 28 fg
C – Todd Boyd 52 pass from Seagraves (Bannister kick)
M – Ty Griffin 4 run (Ty Griffin run)
C — Boatwright 2 run (kick failed)
M – Ty Griffin 3 run (Dominquez kick)