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Football Doubles Up Mt. de Sales on Homecoming 42-21

MACON, Ga. – Head football coach Greg Moore said there’s nothing like a Homecoming night, especially one at First Presbyterian Day School.

“To see all these folks as part of Viking Nation is really neat,” Moore said. “Having our alumni and former players that want to get back in the middle of the huddle with the guys is special.”

But Friday’s game was even more special after the outcome. The Vikings (4-2, 1-1 Region A-7A) rolled to a 42-21 win over the Mt. de Sales Academy Cavaliers to snap a two-game losing streak at Austin Childers Field at George S. Johnson Stadium.

It was the first time the two teams have met since 2009 and the first meeting in GHSA play between both schools.

“Tonight’s win was important on a lot of fronts,” Moore said. “We needed that as a football team. But it also supports our ‘Once Family, Always Family’ theme that we have as a school and with our football team.”

FPD wasted no time scoring and setting the tone early. With just 1:33 into the contest after a Jonathan Raines opening kickoff return of 65 yards, quarterback Will McCormick found wide-out Jam Morris on a 13-yard touchdown pass and Brad Powell nailed the extra point to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead.

“That was much needed,” Moore said of the start. “The past couple of games we’ve gotten off to a slow start. That really gave us a positive mind-set early on.”

Raines said it was the execution that was key on the opening kick and throughout the game offensively. The Vikings racked up 419 yards of total offense on the night.

“We were able to hold each other accountable in practice this week and on the field tonight,” Raines said. “I was able to get a block and do my job on the return.”

FPD scored again with 11 seconds remaining in the first quarter on a Garrison Hotchkiss 11-yard pass from McCormick along with a Powell point-after to take a 14-0 lead.

“A lot of kids have gotten better on our football team,” Moore said. “And they’ve done so at practice. We thought as a coaching staff that we needed to get those guys in pretty regularly and see if we could go into the fourth quarter with the lead. I thought everyone did a great job when they had their chance.”

McCormick said it all started with the offensive line and having multiple teammates available to make big plays.

“Our line did an incredible job tonight,” McCormick said, who finished with 114 yards on 9-of-15 passing. “We kept getting a big push up front from them and were able to run what we needed.”

Moore agrees that the offensive line played a crucial part in the victory.

“They are the unsung heros,” Moore said. “They believe in what we’re doing and are buying in to that philosophy.”

The Vikings made it a 21-0 lead with 5:33 to play in the second quarter when Andrew Bevill ran in a 25-yard touchdown and Powell nailed another extra point.

The Cavaliers stabbed back to make it a 21-7 Viking lead with 54 seconds to play in the second quarter, scoring on a two-yard Carson Leatherwood touchdown run.

Mt. de Sales came out swinging to begin the third quarter, cutting the Viking lead to seven on a Keith Farris 59-yard touchdown run to go with a Ryan Murphey extra point.

That’s when the FPD offense went back to work, scoring two straight touchdowns, the first on a 7-yard Reggie Gannt run with 7:40 to play in the quarter followed by a McCormick keeper with 3:06 to play in the same frame to give the Vikings a 35-14 advantage. Powell made both PAT’s.

“Our offense had a big night,” senior Cole Thomason said. “We were getting a bunch of solid movement on the offensive line with guys like Palmer (Haynes) and Robbby (Watson).”

Farris struck again late in the third quarter for de Sales to make it a 35-21 Viking lead. McCormick scored the final touchdown of the game with 8:36 to play in the fourth quarter.

“Our team is still taking pride in what we’re doing,” Moore said. “We controlled the tempo of the game and had a lot of guys step up when we needed to.”

Moore said the team needs a good week of practice to prepare for Tattnall Square Academy on Oct. 17.

“All I know is they have a good football team,” Moore said. “We’ll enjoy the rest of Homecoming Weekend on our campus and we’ll start turning our attention to them as a staff beginning Sunday and Monday.”

Added McCormick: “This (win) was big for our morale. Tattnall is a good team and we needed this heading into next week.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 at Tattnall.

The First Presbyterian Day School Department of Athletics strives to build the student athlete both in the playing arena and the classroom while upholding the school’s mission statement to educate and equip students to change the world for God’s glory. For more information, visit www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by visiting www.twitter.com/FPDVikingSports.

GAME NOTES:

– FPD leads the all-time series against Mt. de Sales 19-11-1. The Vikings have won two straight against the Cavaliers. The last win before Friday’s Homecoming game was in 2009, a 35-0 victory.

– The Vikings accumulated 20 first-downs in Friday’s contest. 17 of those 20 came via FPD’s rushing attack.

– Eight different players rushed for positive yardage for the Vikings, led by Reggie Gantt’s 171 yards on 24 attempts and one touchdown.

– Six different players caught a pass for FPD in Friday’s win. The Vikings were led in receiving by Jam Morris’ 43 yards on two receptions.

– FPD totaled 70 plays from scrimmage in Friday’s game. 78 percent of those plays came via the rush (55 total).

– FPD rushed the ball 55 times on Friday night, the most thus far in the 2014 season.

– The Vikings had just one penalty whistled against them on Friday night, which proved to be a delay of game. Mt. de Sales was called for four penalties for 30 yards. The penalty total for FPD is the fewest amount in 2014.

– The Vikings picked up their first sub-region win of 2014 Friday night while the Cavaliers dropped their first sub-region contest of the season. Both teams are 1-1 in rub-region A play.

– FPD is now 3-0 in their past three Homecoming games. FPD took down Hancock Central 41-18 in 2013 and bested GMC Prep 31-7 back in 2012.

– Brad Powell nailed all six (6) of his extra points on Friday night. He has 26 points for FPD in 2014.

– FPD head coach Greg Moore picked up win no. 112 in his career. He now stands at 112-64 all-time in 15 years.

– FPD head coach Greg Moore is now 10-1 all-time against Mt. de Sales.

– The Vikings are now 12-4-1 against Mt. de Sales at George S.Johnson Stadium all-time after Friday’s home win against the Cavaliers. FPD moved to 1-0 against Mt. de Sales on Austin Childers Field.

– Friday’s game was the first time FPD and Mt. de Sales have played as members of the GHSA. Mt. de Sales was a member of the league until the 1979 season and played in the GISA beginning in 1980. The Cavaliers rejoined the GHSA in the fall of 2014 while FPD joined in 2010.

– FPD’s win over Mt. de Sales on Friday night was win no. 302 in program history.

– Since joining the GHSA in 2010, the Vikings are 29-20 all-time in the league.

– FPD is 14-9 in GHSA play at George S. Johnson Stadium all-time. FPD has won at least three home games each season but one (2011). FPD is 3-1 at home in 2014 with victories over Howard, Monticello and Mt. de Sales.

– FPD coaches, players and cheerleaders wore pink during Friday’s home game as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month.

– Tesch Jerles was named the 2014 Homecoming Queen at halftime of Friday’s game.

BOX SCORE:

FPD 42, MT. DE SALES 21

MDS 0-7-14-0 — 21
FPD 14-7-14-7 — 42

First Quarter
FPD – Jam Morris 13-yard pass from Will McCormick. Brad Powell (kick).
FPD – Garrison Hotchkiss 11-yard pass from McCormick. Powell (kick).

Second Quarter
FPD – Andrew Bevill 25-yard run. Powell (kick).
MDS – Carson Leatherwood 2-yard run. Ryan Murphey (kick).

Third Quarter
MDS – Keith Farris 59-yard run. Murphey (kick).
FPD – Reggie Gantt 7-yard run. Powell (kick).
FPD – McCormick 5-yard run. Powell (kick).
MDS – Farris 29-yard run. Murphey (kick).

Fourth Quarter
FPD – McCormick 4-yard run. Powell (kick).

MDS — FPD
First downs 10 — 26.
Rushes-yards 22-289 — 55-305.
Passing yards 8 — 119.
Comp-Att-Int 6-11-1 — 9-15-114.

Top Individuals:
Rushing — Mt. de Sales: Farris 9-127; FPD: Gantt 24-171.
Passing — Mt. de Sales: Carson Leatherwood 4-9-1-7; FPD: Will McCormick 9-15-2-114.
Receving — FPD: Jam Morris 2-43.

Records: FPD 4-2, 1-1 Reg. A 7-A; MDS 3-3, 1-1 Reg. A 7-A.
Next: FPD at Tattnall, 7:30 p.m., Friday (Oct. 17).

POST-GAME VIDEOS:

QUICK LINKS:

Macon Telegraph Article by Jane Hammond 

Homecoming Photos on our Flickr Page!

Homecoming 2014 Recap – Oct. 10-11, 2014

Webcast of Friday’s Homecoming Game vs. Mt. de Sales

FPD Athletics on Twitter (@FPDVikingSports)

FPD Athletics on Facebook

FPDS Macon on Facebook