GHSA STATE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDUP: Packers hit stumbling block in Class AAAAA state title game; Sandy Creek wins AAA crown; Clinch kings of Class A again

Photo by Mike Phillips

Photo by Mike Phillips

ATLANTA -- Colquitt County's valiant quest for a state championship came to an end on Saturday night at the Georgia Dome in a 52-38 loss to Brookwood.

The Packers finish the season 9-6, while the Broncos win their first state championship since 1996 by going 14-1.

It was a sweet victory for the Broncos, who had dropped state championship games in both 2002 and 2005.

Colquitt County was chasing its first state championship since 1994 and reached the title game despite starting 0-3 and finishing the regular season with a 5-5 record.

But after four straight playoff victories, the Packers were no match for the Broncos.

Brookwood quarterback Ben McLane threw for 142 yards and Nick Tompkins ran for 133 yards and two touchdowns. Jamaal Cole ran for 97 and also scored twice.

Colquitt County quarterback Tyler Brown threw for a school-record 362 yards, Tommy Hudson ovecame a broken hand and caught 11 passes for 128 yards and Tevin King rushed for 207 yards, but it was not enough against the relentless Broncos.

D'Amonte Ridley also chipped in 106 yards on the ground and Colquitt had more than 600 yards of offense, but it also turned the ball over three times -- twice on interceptions and once on a fumble -- and Brookwood turned all three into points.

The Packers scored on the final play of the first half to pull to within seven, but Brookwood's Andre Sims returned the second-half kickoff 87 yards for a touchdown and the Packers had to battle the rest of the way just to stay close.

Colquitt closed to within 10 points on King's 6-yard touchdown run with 6:18 left in the third quarter, but the Packers could get no closer the rest of the way.

The Packers scored on a 6-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Hudson on a untimed down on the last play of the first half to pull to within 7 at 28-21.

And it was an electric first half, with the two teams combining for 553 yards of offense and seven touchdowns.

Colquitt County won the toss and elected to receive, jumping out ahead early.

The Packers drove 80 yards on nine plays and scored on a 1-yard run by Damien Bentley. Rich Tyndall's conversion put the Packers up 7-0 with 9:16 left in the opening quarter.

But Brookwood struck right back, driving 73 yards on six plays, all on the ground, and tied the game on an 8-yard run byTompkins and an extra point kick by Eric Yang.

The team exchanged punts and the Packers appeared ready to go for another score late in the first half from their 34, but instead snapped to protector Bentley, who rambled for an apparent first down. But the play was called back on an illegal procedure penalty when the Packers were flagged for not having enough players on the line of scrimmage.

Back again in punt formation, Tanner White had to reach high for the snap and it went through his hands and Brookwood fell on the ball on the Colquitt County 4.

Jamaal Cole scored on the next play and Yang's kick put the Broncos up 14-7.

But the Packers marched 80 yards in 13 plays to tie the game on an 8-yard run by D'Amonte Ridley and an extra point by Tyndall with 8:40 left in the half.

A big 8-yard pass from Brown to Ty Smith on fourth down kept the drive alive at the Brookwood 20.

Moments later, the two teams swapped turnovers, with Brookwood converting its.

With 8:07 left in the half, McLane completed a pass to Cole, who was leveled by Payne Newsome and the ball came loose. John Gray recovered on the Colquitt 44, but on the Packers first play, a Brown pass intended for Smith was picked off by Brookwood linebacker Cameron Lynch.

Tompkins then ran 26 yards to the Packers 25, four yards to the 21 and then McLane found Nathaniel Minor behind the secondary and in the end zone for the touchdown. Yang's conversion put the Broncos up 21-14 with 6:48 left in the half.

The Packers, who had 307 yards in the first half, then drove from their 20 to a first down at the Brookwood 9, only to be driven back to the 20, and Tyndall missed a wide left on a 38-yard field goal attempt with 3:30 left in the half.

But there was plenty of action in those 3 1/2 minutes.

The Broncos again struck quickly, driving 80 yards in just five plays.

Cole did the damage, running for 14 yards, 55 yards, 2 yards and after a pass incompletion, scored from 10 yards out. Wang was perfect again and the Broncos led 28-14 with only 1:12 left in the half.

The Packers took advantage of all 72 seconds and more.

Brown marched the Packers down to a first down at the Broncos 22 and hit Hudson for 4 yards to the 18.

After an incompletion, Brookwood was flagged for a face mask while trying to sack Brown.

Then, on what would have been the last play of the half, the Broncos were charged with pass interference in the end zone, giving the Packers one more play, even though time had expired.

Brown made the Broncos pay, firing to Hudson for the score.

In the fourth quarter, Cole scored from 10 yards out to put the Broncos ups 45-28 with 8:48 left and Tyndall's 20-yard field goal with 5:14 cut the Broncos lead to 14.

But Tompkins scored on a 10-yard touchdown run with 2:18 left to put the game out of reach.

King scored his final touchdown as a Packer on a 15-yard pass from Brown with 1:35 left in the game.

The state championship game was the eighth for Packers coach Rush Propst, who has won five in his career, all at Hoover High in Alabama. He also has reached the state championship game three other times, twice in Alabama and now once in Georgia.