By David Purdum / For the AJC
Michael Sutton set the tone with an interception return for a touchdown in the game’s first series, jumpstarting Colquitt County’s 21-6 win over Grayson, on Saturday at the Georgia Dome.
Sutton had two interceptions, and Sihiem King rushed for a 122 yards and a score for the Packers, who jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but were never able to pull away from the Rams.
Sutton intercepted Grayson quarterback Hunter Schuessler’s first pass and raced 28 yards for the touchdown to the Packers up 7-0, 35 seconds into the game. Colquitt quarterback Daniel Mobley found Kiel Pollard for a 2-yard touchdown pass later in the first quarter.
The Packers took a 14-0 lead into halftime. It felt like a lot wider margin. Five penalties, include multiple personal fouls, irritated coach Rush Propst and kept the Packers from extending their lead in the first half.
“They’re Grayson, a talented football team and proven program,” said Propst. “We knew they weren’t going to go away easy.”
Sutton’s second interception led to a 2-yard touchdown run by King that put the Packers up 21-0 midway through the third quarter.
The Packers’ offense pushed the pace, going without a huddle and snapping the ball as quickly as the referees would let them. Mobley was solid, completing 14 of 27 passes for 173 yards and the touchdown to Pollard. Mobley also threw two interceptions, though, which allowed Grayson to stay within striking distance.
“Our defense played great, but we gave the game away with mistakes,” said Grayson coach Mickey Conn, who has just one returning starter back. “I’m happy the way we competed to the very end. We just hurt ourselves with the turnovers and mistakes.”
A.J. Stinson’s 7-yard touchdown run accounted for Grayson’s score.
Colquitt County has been eliminated in the playoffs by the eventual state champion the past four seasons, including a 35-31 loss to Grayson in the 2011 state semifinals. Propst said this year’s team has state-championship potential, but must contend with a brutal early schedule that includes next week’s trip to Alabama to face Propst’s former program, Hoover. Propst won five state titles at Hoover, before coming over to Colquitt County.
“I’m not going to lie – that game means a lot to me,” said Propst. “But I just really want our kids to put on a good showing in front of a national TV audience, against one of the best programs in the nation.”
Grayson 0 0 6 0 — 6
Colquitt County 14 0 7 0 — 21
CC – Michael Sutton 28 interception return (Luis Martinez kick)
CC – Kiel Pollard 2 pass from Daniel Mobley (Martinez kick)
CC – Shihiem King 2 run (Martinez kick)
G – A.J. Stinson 7 run (kick failed)