Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Road-Tested Colquitt Faces Camden; A Berth in the State Championship Game Is on the Line Friday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Road-Tested Colquitt Faces Camden; A Berth in the State Championship Game Is on the Line Friday

Article excerpt

Byline: DON COBLE

The road in the Georgia Class 5A football playoffs is long and difficult. Just ask Colquitt County.

The Packers will be making their fourth consecutive trip Friday when they play a semifinal game at Camden County. The winner earns a trip to the state championship - and a road trip to Atlanta.

After finishing third in Region 1, Colquitt knew the playoffs would be a matter of winning games and collecting frequent-traveler miles. By the time Colquitt returns to Moultrie early Saturday, the team will have driven more than 1,560 miles.

"Three straight weeks to Atlanta, now over to Camden," Packers coach Rush Propst said. "The travel, no question, gets tough."

So are the football assignments.

Colquitt lost regular-season games to Lowndes County and Northside-Warner Robins - teams that swapped the No. 1 spot in the rankings throughout the regular season - to finish third in its region. But those games served as a good tuneup for the playoffs.

"If you're the third seed from Region 1, you're probably better than a lot of other higher-seeded teams in the state," Camden coach Jeff Herron said. "Once they got out of their region, they've won some big games. You don't get to this level if you're not good."

Camden, which hasn't lost a regional game in 10 years, has been a No. 1 seed since it was classified as a 5A team.

Colquitt (11-2) will try to become the first team in Class 5A history to win a state championship with five road victories.

The Wildcats will try to become the ninth No. 1 seed to win a championship in the 10-year history of the Class 5A classification.

In the process, Camden (11-2) has the opportunity to win consecutive titles and a third in seven years.

Camden (twice), Lowndes County (three times) and Parkview (three times) all parlayed a No. 1 seed - and the benefit of home games - into state championships.

In 2006, No. 2 Roswell and No. 4 Peachtree Ridge shared the Class 5A championship after a 14-all tie. That is the only season the Class 5A winner wasn't a top seed.

The other semifinal game features Northside at Newnan. Like Camden, they are No. 1 seeds from their regions. …

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