0

Colquitt County knocks North out of playoffs 17-7

Photo: Brian Kamer North Gwinnett's Jake Jaragosky (38), Chad Scott (6) and Brett Byerly (46) watch the the last play of the game as their season comes to an end following Friday's loss to Colquitt County.

Photo: Brian Kamer North Gwinnett's Jake Jaragosky (38), Chad Scott (6) and Brett Byerly (46) watch the the last play of the game as their season comes to an end following Friday's loss to Colquitt County.

photo

Photo: Brian Kamer Colquitt County's Jamal Phillips (36) escapes being tackled by North Gwinnett's Jordan LeRoux (45) during Friday night's playoff game.

photo

Photo: Brian Kamer North Gwinnett running back Donnie Miles (1) runs past Colquitt County defensive back Jamal Phillips (34) during Friday night's playoff game.

More Photos

Click here for more game photos

SUWANEE -- The curse continues for North Gwinnett.

For three of the last five years the Bulldogs' playoff run has ended at the hands of a South Georgia school.

After Friday's 17-7 loss to Colquitt County in the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs, make that four times in six years.

"They can make it a South Georgia vs. North Georgia thing, but that's a good football team," North Gwinnett head coach Bob Sphire said. "They play really good football down there."

The Packers scored two TDs in a three-minute span in the third quarter as they advanced to the quarterfinals. Colquitt County (10-2) will play Camden County, which beat Marietta 48-7, in the next round.

"Camden is the best in the state," Colquitt County head coach Rush Propst said. "I don't know if we can beat them or not, but we're sure going to give it a shot."

Colquitt reached the Class AAAAA state championship game before losing to Brookwood last year. The Packers are two wins away from a return trip to the Georgia Dome after beating North.

Colquitt intercepted North QB Scotty Hosch three times and recovered a fumble by Hosch. The senior was 19 of 35 passing for 108 yards.

"He had the three picks, but we're not an average defensive scheme," Propst said.

North Gwinnett (10-2) had a 7-0 lead at halftime, but Colquitt County tied the game on its first possession of the third quarter. Willie Woodyard caught a middle screen and went 75 yards for the touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

On the next possession, the Bulldogs went for it on fourth-and-one at their own 30 and couldn't pick up the first down.

"I guess I'm going to be second guessing myself on that for a while," Sphire said. "I believe in our team and the ability to pick that up. I rolled the dice and came up snake eyes."

Colquitt responded with a five-play scoring drive finished by Woodyard's 11-yard touchdown run. Woodyard finished with 63 yards rushing.

"He's a good football player," Propst said.

Hosch was intercepted three times on North's next four possessions -- twice by E'Darius Davis and once by Dondray Copeland.

The second interception by Davis set up Oscar Luna's 29-yard field goal with 2:54 left in the game to seal the win.

"They didn't let you have the big play," Sphire said.

Other than the big 75-yard screen pass, North's defense was solid for most of the night. The Bulldogs only allowed five first downs and Jalen Brooks forced a fumbled that was recovered by Jordan Washington. Justin Alabi and Carl Rider each had sacks.

"I thought the defense played very well," Sphire said. "Going into the season, that's what we wanted from them."

The Bulldogs began the game by driving to the 20 and had to settle for a 37-yard field goal attempt. Alejandro Arroyave's kick hit the right upright to keep the game scoreless in the first quarter.

Chad Scott had a 28-yard punt return to the Colquitt 27 to set up the game's first score. The Bulldogs had to covert on fourth-and-goal with Donnie Miles' touchdown to make it 7-0 with 7:47 left in the half.

"We had to keep plugging to get it in there," Sphire said.

Scott was the game's leading receiver with 13 catches for 96 yards. Colquitt's Ty Smith, a Georgia commit, did not have a catch.

North's senior class leaves as one of the most successful classes. The Bulldogs were 33-4 over a three-year span, including three Region 7-AAAAA titles and they never lost a region game.

"I can't say enough about the character of this team," Sphire said. "Their team-first attitude and commitment to excellence made them a joy to coach."