Norcross 14, Colquitt County 9

The Norcross Blue Devils are back in the state finals. In what was mostly a defensive battle against the Colquitt County Packers, it was the Blue Devils who made just enough plays on offense, pulling out a 14-9 win in the AAAAAA state semifinals.

The Blue Devils (12-2) will play the winner of the North Gwinnett-McEachern game for the state title on Saturday, Dec. 14 at 8:30 p.m.

Myles Autry brought the game to its final margin with a 19-yard reception off a screen pass from A.J. Bush with 6:15 remaining. The Blue Devils’ defense did the rest, with Jordan Noil intercepting the Packers  and returning the ball 45 yards with 17 seconds left in the game.

The game was delayed an hour thanks to lightning, resuming with 10:18 remaining in the fourth and Colquitt County leading 9-7.

The Packers led 9-7 at half thanks to three Jose Vega field goals of 45, 32 and 22 yards. One of the field goals was set up by a Norcross muffed punt, which gave Colquitt County the ball on the Blue Devils’ 23 yard line.

The Blue Devils’ first score came on James Keeling’s 1-yard touchdown run with 3:19 left in the half, which was set up by Bush’s 51-yard scramble that put the ball on the Packers’ 1. That gave Norcross a 7-6 lead.

For the Packers (11-3), it was the fifth consecutive season in the semifinals under coach Rush Propst, who took over the program following a 2007 season that saw Colquitt County go 2-8. The Packers also reached the state finals in 2011.

The Blue Devils beat Colquitt County last year in the semifinals, 41-27 on the way to their first state title in school history. Their 2013 season started roughly, as they were 1-2 through three games, including a 55-0 season-opening loss to Miami’s Booker T. Washington televised by ESPN. But Norcross turned its season around, going on what is now an 11-game win streak with a defense surrendering just 7.6 points a game.

Colquitt County – 3 6 0 0 – 9

Norcross 0 7 0 7 – 14

C – Jose Vega 45 FG

C – Vega 32 FG

N – James Keeling 1 run (Blake Bingham kick)

C – Vega 22 FG

N – Myles Autry 19 pass from A.J. Bush (Bingham kick)

Follow Adam Krohn on Twitter.

68 comments Add your comment

GwinnnettDad

December 6th, 2013
11:33 pm

Congratulations to Norcross. I’m sure no one expected Colquitt to not even score a TD. Again, well done Norcross!

GwinnnettDad

December 6th, 2013
11:36 pm

And it IS an all Gwinnett final!

Username

December 6th, 2013
11:38 pm

Congratulations Rob and thank you for QwiXcoring the game. Best of luck in the championship game!

You guys really messed with my future post… But I’m going to post it anyway.

The more I watch Colquitt County the more I understand why they are in the championship game.
This Packer team has exceptional coaches who present offensive looks that are impressive to say the least. Even more impressive is the execution by the players – these young men have definitely studied their playbook(s). Oh, and the players are pretty dang good too, they epitomize the meaning of teamwork.
I have been saying before the season started that North Gwinnett will be crowned champions. They have excellent coaching as well, and their players execute too – heck, they resemble a college team in size and play. However, I’m not as confident (as I was earlier in the year) that the Bulldogs will win State – this Colquitt County team is really, really, good!
I have never coached football at any level. I played in high school, and that’s it (my credentials supplied). With that said, here are my keys to victory for North Gwinnett.
1) The Packers thrive off of up tempo play – if you can maximize three and out, that’s huge.
2) The Bulldog corners need to play lights out on pass defense. Number 10 can sling it like a drop of a dime and fit it like a snug glove.
3) The Bulldogs must finish thru the tackle, specifically on pass plays – the Packer receivers rarely go down on first contact.
4) The Packers can run the ball too, and they’ll run out of all type of looks – must contain the run.
5) The Bulldogs must put pressure on the QB. If Mobley is comfortable it’s going to be a long night for ‘Dawg’ fans. He (Mobley) also manages the game extremely well. If you can get him out of his comfort zone then you have won one of the battles.
6) The Packers defense is aggressive, fast, tough, and smart. I’m not sure how the Bulldogs can address these aspects, perhaps delayed draws, slip and bubble screens…
I have been waiting all year for this game, like a kid on Christmas Eve – let the battle begin!

P.S. Most of all, safety to the young men on the field.

PackGATA

December 6th, 2013
11:42 pm

Both teams had to play in same mess so no excuses. However wish it could have been played in better conditions like next week. Packer coaches play way to conservative like they were scared of the rain, wet field and that awesome Norcross defense. Norcross congratulation! Your offensive cord. had more guts tonight than ours did. I don’t care who wins next week but I will be pulling for ya’ll. But 1 question are you going to invite your next QB and running back recruits to the big game next week. (Just kidding) Prost would have!!! (Not kidding)

FireCoachConn

December 6th, 2013
11:49 pm

Gwinnett will take home another AAAAAA State Championship!

North Gwinnett was given a gift touchdown on a pass that was clearly caught out of bounds that may have completely changed the outcome of this game.

I feel bad for these young men that battle so hard all season long to get to the Semis and then have a clear bad call put them 7 points down. I understand that they are High School Officials, and I am sure they are doing their best, but maybe at this point of the playoffs the scoring plays should be reviewed. It is sad to watch the play on TV and have the replay shown multiple times, have the announcers discuss that the play was called incorrectly, and have no way to correct the call. This is a huge moment in the season, and this time it benefitted NG. I am not blaming the refs for the Mc loss as there are so many other plays in a game, but giving 7 points is huge.

GHSA think about this for the future.

Username

December 6th, 2013
11:58 pm

@FireCoachConn

Quit whining, it reduces your post to drivel.

BulldogsStillBite

December 6th, 2013
11:59 pm

May have…but no one can see the future – all we can do is speculate. North gave a touchdown away at the end..but a win is a win is a win…North outplayed McE despite the mistakes and showed they wanted it more…

Colquitt Fan

December 7th, 2013
12:01 am

Congrats again Norcross. This was by far the worst offensive play calling ive ever seen by Colquitt

SPECIALKM

December 7th, 2013
12:01 am

GWINNETT COUNTY HAS THE BEST FOOTBALL IN THE STATE PERIOD!!! YOU CAN SAY WHAT YOU WANT BUT HISTORY AND NUMBERS DONT LIE!!! YEAR BY YEAR TEAMS FROM GWINNETT COUNTY RISE TO THE OCCASION AND TO KEEP IT ALL REAL MCEACHERN GOT LUCKY TO EVEN BE ABLE TO PLAY THIS WEEK CUS THEY BARELY ESCAPED ANOTHER GWINNETT COUNTY SCHOOL LAST WEEK!!! GET MAD IF YOU WANT (FANS FROM OTHER COUNTIES) BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS!!!!!! #GEORGIAH.S.FOOTBALL’S.E.C.’GWINNETTCOUNTY

Joseph

December 7th, 2013
12:02 am

Congratulations to Norcross. Your team made the plays when you had to have them and won. Our Packers played hard and left it all on the field. I am proud of each and every one of you. Thank you all for another exciting season and your fans will be ready to cheer you on next year! Both teams played hard and in deplorable conditions. I do wish the Atlanta area schools would install turf. I vote next year we play the playoffs in Moultrie, much better conditions. Of course, we need to win the region to help insure that. Neither team quit and I for one will be pulling for Norcross to repeat since you won this game. Good luck to all and Merry Christmas.

rudbuck

December 7th, 2013
12:10 am

Wow. can’t believe I’m the first to post tonight. If C.C.H.S. had won I guarantee, this blogged would have blown up by now. Good game, no blowouts, all defense, Norcross was just a tiny bit better. They did score 2 touchdowns and held a team, that averaged 24 points in the regular season and 45 points in the previous 3 playoff games, to 3 field goals and one of them came on a muffed punt. Congrats to all the teams today and good luck to those advancing to the finals.

P.S. It’s goinna be an all Gwinnett championship. Had to mention that.

wolfbait67

December 7th, 2013
12:13 am

congrats to our neighbors down the road and further on down the SOUTHERN RR line to Norcross…now tell Region 1 who has the best in AAAAAA…Good luck to U both (Norcross and NGHS) I am sure it is going to be a good slobvber-knocker

Fred

December 7th, 2013
12:27 am

@Fire – I guess announcers know more that the guy that was standing 15 feet away watching very carefully. You did hear the number of times they miss called the play or the spot didn’t you? I read elsewhere that the gold line that was stepped on is for soccer, not football. I can see how that might confuse someone. Either way, NG probably probably wins with a field goal then and the rest of the game playing out the same way.

Fred

December 7th, 2013
12:33 am

@Rufus – Whenever you get a chance to read this, Congrats on another great season! It did turn out that your Hawgs were a touch smaller than Devils. That Norcorss D was pretty impressive and took away your game plan. I thought I was going to be able to send you another picture of the Packer fans at the Dome but I guess I’ll have to wait until next year. I hope everyone had safe travels home! Take Doc and Ms Violet to your favorite Mexican place for adult libations and lift one to the season passed. If she won’t go, I know there are some turpentine jars around that will help you sleep! ;-)

WolfDawg

December 7th, 2013
12:36 am

The Blue Devils have played the best D in the playoffs at the highest level…

Congrats to both Norcross & North…

Gwinnett County – States Best!!!

Called this finals at the start of the playoffs…

Camden74

December 7th, 2013
12:43 am

Congratulations to North Gwinnett and Norcross for making it to the Title Game…….Good show again this season Colquitt! :-)

Fred

December 7th, 2013
12:51 am

I had always subscribed to the “tough to beat the same team twice in the same season” theory but Todd pointed out this week that is not correct. He confirmed it for me tonight on the live chat. If you missed it, he said “@Fred: Team that wins the first one is 21-6 in the rematch, 8-2 in the playoffs. That includes the two Class A public rematches tonight, which went 1-1.” Either way, it should be a great game!

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
12:54 am

To all the Colquitt fans and players… Congrats on a well-played game and another great season. The Norcross defense is just playing lights out right now, and our defense did just enough to beat you. I knew it was going to be low-scoring and close. Glad that it didn’t come down to turnovers and penalties as the deciding factor, it was just a muddy mess on the field and it’s a shame one of us had to lose.

To the Norcross players and Fans— One more game baby!!! We get the chance to avenge our one loss against a GA team against our archrivals- North Gwinnett. Both teams are pretty different since the last time we played in Week 3. It will likely be another epic showdown.

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
1:03 am

Unofficial Game Stats:

Colquitt —- Norcross

First downs 10 —- 9

Rushes-yards 37-80 —- 32-173

Passing Completions-Attempts-Yds-Int 12-24-101-1 —- 6-13-67-0

Penalties-yards 3-25 —- 8-108

Fumbles-lost 1-1 —- 1-1

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING — Colquitt County:
Sihiem King 25-40;
Daniel Mobley 7-6;
Timothy Sanders 4-35;
Todd Boyd 1-(-1).

Norcross:
A.J. Bush 14-112;
Josh Boyd 15-56;
Clinton Lynch 1-1;
KaDarius Garrett 1-3;
James Keeling 1-1.

#PASSING — Colquitt County: Daniel Mobley 12-24-101-1. Norcross: A.J. Bush 6-13-67-0.

#RECEIVING — Colquitt County:
Ty Lee 2-56;
Kiel Pollard 4-36;
Sihiem King 3-5;
Todd Boyd 2-2;
Timothy Sanders 1-2.

Norcross:
Myles Autry 3-30;
Chris Herndon 3-37.

Cool_Coach1

December 7th, 2013
1:10 am

@Camden74 Are we Region1 Champs? Colquitt proved to be a formidable opponent …as we expected! However when your defense gives up only 25 points for the playoffs…you will always be in position to be victorious! So proud of my guys…you have been doubted, ridiculed and misjudged….but continue to prove the naysayers wrong! Back to the dome ….prepared to defend our crown!

Mighty Mighty Wildcats

December 7th, 2013
6:09 am

Wow, as a Valdosta alum, I never thought I would see balance of power shift. Gwinnett is new Region 1 I guess. With the population, the sheer numbers are enough to swallow half of South Ga. Imagine what Hyder or Bazemore coulda done with this number of kids. Grats to gwinnett.

Jimb

December 7th, 2013
6:50 am

Region 7 may have 5 in the top 10 by the end. Next year will be no different.

GwinnnettDad

December 7th, 2013
7:42 am

One thing is for sure, whenever Region 1 gets eliminated from the playoffs, this blog gets a lot less entertaining.

Username

December 7th, 2013
8:24 am

Ditto that GwinnettDad

Big Blue Dude

December 7th, 2013
8:32 am

I’m sure the AJC rag writers are just thrilled.

WildHawg2012

December 7th, 2013
8:52 am

@Rob= Congrats to Norcross and goodluck in the tittle game. No excuses from me the game was played clean and the game was decided by the players. I am so proud of my Hawgs for another great season. The Norcross D is as advertised!! That had to be the biggest D I have ever seen.

Mr.South

December 7th, 2013
8:57 am

All this talk about N.Ga football now. Clearly the 13th man in some cases was the officials. With all do respect to ALL the playoff programs, well done young men and coaches ….but lets not get carried away. The South Ga football is like the SEC, we beat each other out and USE what we have without any switching schools or under-the-table deals for players. Let’s be real people… I’m just saying!

R31768 Pack

December 7th, 2013
9:13 am

Congratulations Norcross, Didn’t have enough offense.

Stan

December 7th, 2013
9:44 am

@Mr.South

Get real. Look at the schedules of region 7AAAAAA & 8AAAAAA teams. And no games against lower classifications.

Stan

December 7th, 2013
9:46 am

Mr.South

Buford is 3A, and they would run south GA

My2Cents

December 7th, 2013
9:47 am

@Mr. South…….I agree that the proximity of these schools make it easy for kids to jump around in Gwinnett County, which I think is more of a disadvantage then advantage to most of the schools. There are two schools in Gwinnett that seem to make this an advantage year in and year out, but the others not so much. Down in South Georgia where you are the only game in town kids can’t leave for every little reason. They have to learn to be team players and contribute making your programs more stable.

DAFalcon

December 7th, 2013
9:56 am

Congrats to Norcros and North Gwt. two great games, Norcross and Colquitt WOW what a slugfest best game I’ve watched all season.

Sportsnut

December 7th, 2013
10:16 am

Congrats to Norcross and North Gwinnett for reaching the title game. Good luck to both of you for next week.

Royhobbs

December 7th, 2013
10:27 am

@Mr. South The SEC schools should band together and form AAAAAA.1 classification for schools that play such a tough regular season that they won’t participate in the playoffs.

Puddin

December 7th, 2013
11:04 am

Let’s just say, if Gwinnett County had just one team like our Southern foes do. We would have to play a college schedule. Just sayin’

Rufus S. DeMann

December 7th, 2013
11:33 am

@Fred and…durn…EVERYBODY else –

My first thoughts are to congratulate Norcross on a very nice win. They made the plays when they needed to. Mr. Bush simply took over the game after the lightning delay. I was disappointed in the field conditions cause it went against our game…but HEY…even Rush can’t control the weather…(Smile).

Our O-Line could not contain the Blue Devil front 7…pure and simple. Don’t get me wrong…they gave it all they had. And ya can’t ask for more. But I just thought we were over matched….and it got us. The “stripers” called a good game. Shouldn’t be no complaints from anybody.

At halftime…a good friend of mine walked by me and whispered in my ear….

“Rufus, FGs ain’t gonna win this ballgame”

That feller is a teller of the gospel.

We had our chances. We just couldn’t take advantage of them. We did NOT do our job inside the RED ZONE. It cost us BIG time. I will say…we fought all the way to the end. We NEVER gave up. I reckon…sincin I have never liked Auburn…NEVER….the football gods took it out on the Packers last night. So I’m shouldering most of the blame. I’m throwing the rest on the Norcross defense.

We walked into the warm and dry domocile this morning at 4:30. It was a tough time there with the kids. Lots of tears…especially from the Seniors. I wanna go on record that I’ve NEVER been prouder of a bunch of poor, tiny, little undersized Hawgs than I was last.night. When the father of one of our players asked me…

“Rufus, what do I say to my son (a Senior) who just had his heart broken?”

I replied…

“Tell him we ALL love him and our proud of his efforts”

When it comes down to it…there ain’t nothing ya can say to make a 17 year old YOUNG MAN…feel better at that one point in his life.

So without further ado…Good Luck to Norcross and North Gwinnett next Saturday. I wish both teams well. And yep, Fred…I see margaritas in my future…(Smile).

Thank you AJC for the opportunity to express my opine…especially sincin it’s GOSPEL.

Rufus>>

PackerDad70

December 7th, 2013
11:35 am

Thankyou Norcross for a good win from the Pack. The Packers are a team that forms from flag football to varsity and these guys were proud to be a contender with the Blue Devils. These Packers have built life relationships and will be a team throughout life due to the heritage starting on the youth scrimage lines at Moultrie. I pray all teams can have that in life in all teams… If they learn this value it goes beyond football and makes a winning team throughout. Wonderful Game, best of skills, and good leadership, and great Parents and Fans. Very proud of our Packers. Very proud of Varsity Football in every Region. Support the teams in the Dome and lets watch football at its best.

With all that… Norcross is very good but has to play a clean game with their skill to be Champions, themselves can be their worst enemy. NG is great with play design but the unrecongnized Offense Line has to be the ON Key to this Game plan against Norcross Defense… The most Points win the game.

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
11:52 am

@Rufus ==

Those seniors may have had their hearts broken last night, but they played like champions these past four seasons making it to the semifinals is quite an accomplishment.

Tough to have a loser in a contest like that… Nothing but respect from this Norcross fan to your entire Colquitt family– coaches, players, families and fans. Hope you all have a great Christmas and please pull for Norcross to get the repeat!

Nafu

December 7th, 2013
11:52 am

SPECIALKM…….you got to understand this. Your schools up there in the Atlanta area have way more students than our schools down here. Norcross HS has over 1000 more students than Colquitt County HS so there are way more choices to get good players. Think of it like this: say person A has only 1 blueberry bush and you want to make a blueberry pie. Person 2 has a whole field of blueberry plants and they want to make a pie. Say the “pie” is a winning team. Ok the person with a whole field of plants is going to have a much easier time finding enough blueberries to make a “pie” every year. The person with only one plant is going to have a harder time having a “pie” every year. So having said that I am much more impressed with the person who has only one plant yet still manages to have one heck of a “pie” every year. That is why Region 1, win or lose, is still the best and most impressive Region in the state because even with limited resources, or students, they still all put out powerhouse teams. You all know the names Colquitt, Lowndes, Valdosta and Camden for a reason.

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
12:16 pm

Q:What’s the difference between @Nafu and a puppy?
A: Sooner or later the puppy grows up and quits whining!

jimb

December 7th, 2013
12:42 pm

@Nafu Camden enrollment is very high,Valdosta and Lowndes are similar, Colquitt is different but recruit very well or lets not talk about that. I do believe there is a difference in Mill Creek, Collins Hill, Norcross having more kids in school, but on the other hand Three new 6A schools have been built in North gwinnett in three years to dilute built programs and they are still winning.

westcobb5

December 7th, 2013
12:53 pm

@Rufus — Thank you for the GOSPEL according to Rufus. IMO, you’re posts have been the most entertaining on these boards all year and I have truly enjoyed them. Always entertaining. Never insulting. Looking forward to hearing your epic words of wisdom again next year (smile).

Camden74

December 7th, 2013
1:00 pm

Cool_Coach1……NOPE! The Camden County Wildcats are Region 1 Champions. You all played the runner up in Region 1! It was a great game, Colquitt just left too many points on the field. Having to settle for field goals instead of TDs. Both defenses played well. But, a great win for Norcross. Now, they get to defend their Title against the only Georgia team to defeat them this season. As I’ve said all season long, North Gwinnett is the team to beat! Oh, one more thing, The Camden County Wildcats are coming!!!! :-D

WildHawg2012

December 7th, 2013
1:52 pm

A lot of ppl will say a lot of things on this blog about the Norcross/Colquitt game. Some will make excuses and some will give great insight. Some also will question some of the play calling by the staff. Here is my observation on the offensive play calling. The play calling was for the most part good but because of the Norcross D and great preparation by the Norcross staff, the plays were ineffective. Their size and height disrupted the screen plays because Mobley really couldn’t see the receiver and our receivers on the out side could not get separation against the Norcross secondary. Maybe the wet weather played a part or not we wont know because in this type of weather u cant throw a lot of deep passes so u have to try to establish some type of running game which is a very hard thing to do against Norcross. So with no running game and no separation by our rec and a QB with a wet ball and a big defense in front of him that is one of the best in the State usually equals defeat. The Pack defense did their job for the most part and kept us in the game but that one or two breaks on offense never came. I do have that it rained so much but the two teams battled till the end and for a great slugfest like that and knowing my team fought their tales off I am satisfied. Lets be clear I am not a Norcross fan but I do respect them as well as all the great football teams in Ga. That’s just my observation and Great season Pack and I loved every min of this years ride.

Just a Fan

December 7th, 2013
2:43 pm

Mr South-check the real facts before commenting. You claim that the south Ga teams do not have players that move around like the north teams. The list of athletic transfers published last year would prove otherwise-some teams in 6a had 30 or more;one had 50+;Colquitt had the fewest(approx 13).I feel that excessive transfers are ruining the game-but it is legal under current rules. We kep hearing about the superiority of the south Ga teams but look at the facts-classes2a thru 6a are all north ga teaqms in the finals(with the exception on 2 middle Ga teams in the finals. I am not saying that the south does not have some great teams-just that the field pretty even now or maybe tilted to the north.

Suwanee 0wns

December 7th, 2013
2:55 pm

Congratulations to Norcross on a hard fought win against a very tough Colquitt team.

Colquitt was ahead or within 1 score the entire 48 minutes. Norcross scored just enough and their stingy defense held back the Packers for the entire game. Tough battle that could have gone either way with just one break-away play at any time.

Good job to both teams.

Middle Lion Backer

December 7th, 2013
3:46 pm

Just a side note I am shocked Norcross has a grass field ! Do you think grass helps or would turf help Norcross?

Rush

December 7th, 2013
3:58 pm

What’s the deal with Norcross wearing cement colored uniforms? Aren’t they the Blue Devils?

They are hideous looking outfits.

It’s sad that they hip hop culture has infected our football teams to wear drab looking colors that have nothing to do with the team.

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
3:58 pm

All Gwinnett schools have grass fields, no one will get turf unless they all get turf.

But I have heard that if Norcross wins next week at the Dome, they are going to move the Georgia Dome to Norcorss in 2018 as our new home field :-)

RobFromNorcross

December 7th, 2013
4:13 pm

@Rush == that color is called Champion Gray…