NORCROSS — For the record, Norcross overcame a 14-point first-quarter deficit and rallied for a 28-14 win over Colquitt County in a preseason scrimmage at Blue Devil Stadium.
But the three-quarter contest between the 2012 Class AAAAAA state football champion and the semifinalist the Blue Devils defeated en route to the title gave both coaching staffs a great chance to see where their respective teams stand heading into the 2013 season.
“We have some new people in some new positions and we got take a look at what we have tonight against a good team,” said Norcross head coach Keith Maloof. “We’ll have to take a look at the film to know everything, but we saw some good things tonight and we rebounded nicely from a 14-point deficit.”
Colquitt County struck quickly with a pair of touchdowns in the first five minutes to take a 14-0 lead.
Sihiem King got it started with a 54-yard TD pass from Daniel Mobley to make it 7-0 Packers with 8:51 left in the opening quarter.
Colquitt County came right back as Mobley connected with Marquan Greene on a 10-yard pass to increase the lead to 14-0 with 6:59 remaining.
But Norcross settled down and scored the next 28 points of the opening half to take a commanding 28-14 advantage.
And the Blue Devils did it all without Myles Autry, who dressed out and was one of four captains for the scrimmage. But the senior remained on the sideline with a knee brace and did not play.
“He’s fine,” Maloof said. “He’ll be ready in two weeks (vs. Booker T. Washington of Miami on Aug. 24).”
Josh Boyd got it started with a 2-yard run with 3:28 to go in the first quarter to cut the Colquitt County lead to 14-7.
Norcross added three more scores in the second quarter to build the two-touchdown margin.
Clinton Lynch hauled in a 16-yard pass from new starting quarterback A.J. Bush to tie it at 14-14 at the 7:49 mark.
Norcross then scored a pair of TDs in the final 1:45 as KaDarius Davis raced in from 20 yards out and Bush found Christopher Herndon streaking down the left sideline on a 26-yard pass to make it 28-14 with just 1:05 remaining in the first half.
Meanwhile, the Norcross defense started slowly, but began to take over while the Blue Devils’ offense was finding its stride.
“I was kind of glad we got knocked in the nose in the first quarter and then I was proud of the way we responded,” Maloof said. “I knew it was going to take AJ a little bit of time to get used to the way we were calling things and get used to the offense. It’s a work in progress, but he finished well.”
Mobley started on fire for Colquitt County by hitting 10 of his first 11 passes for 82 yards and the two TDs. But the Norcross defense began to pressure Mobley and the senior signal-caller completed just one of his final seven passes and was sacked twice in the first half.
Mobley eventually finished 15 of 25 for 128 yards with the pair of TD tosses. But the Packers couldn’t establish a running game and finished with minus 15 yards and also gave up four sacks by the Norcross defense.
“Our defense really settled in and played well after we got down,” Maloof said.
After a scoreless third quarter, the junior varsity squads took over and completed a scoreless fourth quarter. Bush finished the game 8 of 17 for 113 yards and two TD passes for Norcross while Boyd carried the ball nine times for 60 yards and a TD. Garrett added 47 yards on eight attempts as the Blue Devils rushed for 126 yards in three official quarters.