Colquitt defeats Camden County in overtime

·5 min read

Oct. 16—KINGSLAND- Quarterback Neko Fann connected with Dextra Polite Jr. on an 11-yard touchdown pass in the first overtime period to give the Packers a 34-31 win over Camden County in the Region 1-7A opener for both teams on Friday at Chris Gilman Stadium.

The Wildcats had scored a touchdown and got a conversion from Adonis Coyle to tie the game at 28-28 with 26 seconds left in regulation.

The Packers attempted a 46-yard field goal on the final play of regulation, but it was blocked.

Camden got the ball first in overtime, but the Packers defense knocked the Wildcats back five yards in three plays, forcing Coyle to attempt a 37-yard field goal, which was true to put Camden up 31-28.

Colquitt had two false start penalties and a 3-yard losing rush attempt before Fann connected with Landen Thomas for 18 yards to the Camden County 11 on second down.

On third down, Fann got the ball to Polite in the end zone to give the Packers the win in a game both teams appeared to have won and lost several times.

The win raises the Packers record to 7-1 overall and 1-0 in the region as it prepares to head out on the road again next week to play at Lowndes.

Camden County falls to 4-4 and 0-1.

Packers coach Justin Rogers said Camden County threw the ball more, and more successfully, than he anticipated, but that his team again persevered.

"I think this game showed how much our players are committed to each other," Packers coach Justin Rogers said. "And it was really big to get this one (the region opener)."

The Packers again were bedeviled by penalties, being flagged 14 times for 100 yards. Nine were false start penalties.

"We have got to clean up those pre-snap penalties," he said.

The overtime touchdown pass was the the third of the game for Fann, who like most of the rest of the Packers, struggled through much of the first half.

But he made some big throws in the second half as he drove his team to its biggest win of the season.

Colquitt was down 14-7 at the half, marking the first time since the opener at Marietta that the Packers trailed at the break.

And not even getting the second half kickoff appeared to be able to help the Packers, when they fumbled the ball away on the second play and Camden quickly scored to go up 21-7 just 1:35 into the third quarter.

But then the Packers reeled off three straight touchdowns to take a 28-21 lead.

Fann threw to Ny Carr for a 22-yard score with 7:14 left in the third quarter to cut the Camden lead to seven and then drove the Packers on a 96-yard drive that resulted in a 5-yard Charlie Pace run and a Brett Fitzgerald conversion that tied the game at 21-21.

The Packers then marched 71 yards to take a 28-21 lead on a 1-yard run by Ontavious Carolina from the Wild Hawg formation.

Pace carried six times for 46 yards in the drive and Fann threw in a 22-yard completion to Thomas.

A comedy of turnovers quickly followed when Camden fumbled away its next possession and the Packers in turn threw an interception on the next play.

On the next play, the Packers' Kamal Bonner picked off Wildcats quarterback Grey Loden.

Colquitt ran four minutes off the clock, but was forced to punt with 3:05 left in the game.

Loden led the Wildcats on a long march of their own, going 80 yards, the final three of which came on the quarterback's touchdown run with 26 seconds left.

Coyle's conversion tied it at 28-28.

Fann completed two passes to Thomas and another to Za'Mari Williams to get the ball in field goal range with 1.5 seconds left in regulation, but the Wildcats blocked the 46-yard attempt.

When Camden was forced to settle for a field goal on its first overtime possession, all the Packers needed was to score a touchdown to win.

A touchdown pass from the sophomore quarterback to former defensive back-turned-receiver Polite made the difference.

Colquitt again came out of the blocks in unimpressive fashion, even after Ny Edwards recovered a Camden County fumble on the opening kickoff.

The Packers drove to the Wildcat 11, but Fann was intercepted on third down.

Camden was forced to punt away its first possession, but Colquitt scored on the next play, a 47-yard touchdown pass from Fann to Ny Carr.

Colquitt had an opportunity to add to its lead later in the quarter, but turned the ball over on downs at the Camden County 28.

The Wildcats took that opportunity and turned it into a 5-yard Jamie Felix touchdown run that helped tie the game.

Later in the quarter, Loden completed a 69-yard touchdown pass to Semaj Parker and the Wildcats were up 14-7.

That's where it stayed until Camden extended its lead on another Felix touchdown run early in the third quarter.

After that score, the tide slowly turned in the Packers favor as Colquitt appeared to rescue the game, then give it away in the fading moments of regulation, only to win in overtime.

Unofficially, Fann was 15-for-26 for 251 yards after completing just 6-of-15 in the first half.

His three touchdown passes give him 22 for the year.

Pace was in full warrior mode, unofficially carrying the ball 30 times for 184 yards.

"He is just unbelievably gritty," Rogers said.

The Packers coach, who is now 25-5 since taking over the program, also praised the performance of middle linebacker Rickie Yates, who overcame the effects of being in a car wreck last Saturday to help hold off the Wildcats.

In the other Region 1-7A game on Friday, Lowndes defeated Tift County 26-7.

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