When Colquitt County started the season 0-4, it was easy to hear those asking if Jay Saunders was the right quarterback for the Packers.
Nine weeks later, it sure seems like he is.
Even head coach Rush Propst admits he heard those calling for the Packers to take the keys to their offense away from Saunders after he struggled through the first four games. But Propst adds there was never any consideration to make a change.
That persistence with their senior quarterback has paid off.
Saunders has thrown 17 touchdowns during the Packers eight-game winning streak, and is leading an offense averaging over 50 points a game in that span.
"You're going to have your naysayers, and I just try to not let it get me down," Saunders says. "I have great teammates who kept telling me I was the guy and they believe in me. There was just so much support around me and my family. I just kept working hard."
That work paid off.
Saunders has the Packers in the state quarterfinals for the eighth straight season, and will try to lead Colquitt County to a win over national top ten Grayson Friday night in Moultrie.
The senior doesn't seem to much enjoy talking about himself, but admits there was some satisfaction in coming back to win games. But he says that satisfaction came more from helping his team win, and not in shutting up the critics.
If Saunders and the Packers can beat Grayson Friday night, there won't be much left for those critics to say.
"Jay's earned this," Propst says. "I think all the armchair quarterbacks have run back underneath their chairs."
Colquitt County hosts Grayson Friday night at Mack Tharpe Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
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