Photo: Karl L. Moore Parkview's Keanu Mole (1) makes his way up the sidelines after the catch during their game against South Gwinnett earlier this season.
Colquitt County at Parkview
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Parkview High School (From I-85, go east on Indian Trail Road until it becomes Killian Hill Road. Turn right on Arcado Road and then left on Cole Drive. School is on the left)
Coaches: Rush Propst, Colquitt Co.; Cecil Flowe, Parkview
Records: Colquitt Co., 9-3; Parkview 9-3
Last week: Colquitt Co. beat Newman 26-23; Parkview beat West Forsyth 23-20 (OT)
Winner plays: Parkview-Colquitt Co. winner
Colquitt Co. leaders:
• Rushing: John Boatright, 575 yards
• Passing: Segraves, 1,981 yards
• Receiving: Bobby Hill, 1,001 yards
• Tackles: John Gray, 119
• Interceptions: Tim Sanders, O’Shay Williams 2
• Sacks: Jamiyus Pittman, 6
• Rushing: *Chris Carson, 1,100 yards (Injured)
Justis Rosser, 731 yards
• Passing: Mac Marshall, 285 yards
• Receiving: Marshall, 128 yards
• Tackles: Kyle Williams, 107
• Interceptions: Several with 2
• Sacks: Sam Willis, 7.5
Colquitt Co. Packers (9-3)
North Gwinnett* L 16-14
at Thomas Cent. W 35-33
Lovejoy W 14-7
Carver-Columbus W 33-0
Lowndes L 17-14
at Tift Co. W 49-7
at Brunswick W 44-26
at Valdosta L 38-36
Coffee W 27-9
Camden Co. W 13-12
at McEachern W 30-28
at Newnan W 26-23
*at Georgia Dome
Parkview Panthers (9-3)
Peachtree Ridge W 3-0
at Norcross L 20-0
Grayson W 22-7
at Archer W 20-18
Brookwood W 21-14
at Dacula W 26-21
Shiloh W 28-0
at Central G.# L 30-27
Berkmar W 38-7
at South G.^ L 16-14
at Walton W 20-17
at West Forsyth^ W 26-23
Nothing has come easy for either team in Friday's Class AAAAAA state quarterfinal game between Parkview and Colquitt County.
Yet, with each having overcome injuries, uncertainty at key positions and plenty of close games, here they are squaring off at 7:30 at The Big Orange Jungle, with a trip to the semifinals on the line.
And nobody expects anything to come any easier.
"The third round is typically one of the toughest games of the playoffs," said Parkview coach Cecil Flowe, who will be guiding the Panthers (9-3) into the quarterfinals for the 12th time in his 20 seasons as head coach. "You're always facing a really good opponent that you probably haven't seen (earlier in the season). And Colquitt is awfully good. ... They're going to play hard, and we're going to play hard. Every week (in the postseason) is a new challenge."
Both teams come into Friday night's game battle-tested, with each team having played eight games decided by a touchdown or less, including both their respective playoff games.
And given the history and experience of both coaching staffs, led by Flowe on the Parkview side and Rush Propst for Colquitt, both teams figure to come in ready to play.
"I have a lot of respect for Cecil," said Propst, who gained national acclaim coaching in Alabama before coming to Colquitt County in 2008, and leading the Packers (9-3) to at least the state semifinals each of the last three seasons. "He was gracious enough to let me watch them practice in 2001 and 2002, when I was at Hoover and he was winning (the final two of three straight Class AAAAA) state championships. He'll have his team well prepared. And we'll have our team well prepared."
Both teams have plenty to prepare for from the other.
One likely intriguing matchup is a Colquitt passing game, led by quarterback Cole Segraves (154-255-11, 1,981 yards, 8 TDs) and receivers Bobby Hill (73 rec., 1,001 yards, 5 TDs) and Toddarian Boyd (37-720, 4 TDs) against a Parkview defense that has been very stout against similar spread attacks.
But it is the kind of effort the Panthers showed against a very different type of attack -- namely, then No. 1 Grayson, which Parkview beat 22-7 back in September by forcing four turnovers -- that Flowe is hoping his team can duplicate against the Packers.
"We've got to go out like the Grayson game and play hard," Flowe said. "(Colquitt) is a spread team. They throw the screen game at you. ... They're more like South or Central in that they're a fast-paced, no huddle (attack). With them, it's tempo, tempo, tempo. We've just got to defend every inch of the field."
But while Parkview's defense, led by linebackers Kyle Williams (107 tackles, 6 sacks) and John Patterson (102 tackles, 4 sacks) and nose tackle Sam Willis (95 tackles, 7.5 sacks), is a concern for Propst, he is equally intrigued by the game's other main matchup.
Having to overcome injuries to starting quarterback Rob Youngblood, now returned from a fractured collarbone that forced him to miss six weeks, and leading rusher Chris Carson, out for the season with a fractured leg, Flowe has had to tweak the Parkview offense.
And with the changes in personnel, such as getting more carries for Justis Rosser (121-731, 10 TDs), the Panthers have made some changes in sets, including more plays run out of the Wildcat formation.
Propst admits al the changes have made him and his staff do their homework in game-planning the Panthers.
"It is more difficult (to game plan Parkview) now," Propst said. "When they had (Carson), it almost made it easier because he was that good, and you knew what they were going to do. But they've figured out other ways to score.
"And I think they'll be able to hold (the Packers' offense) under our season average, so we'll have to manufacture points another way, and then win the game the old fashioned way -- on defense."