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Viking Fan Guide: Varsity Football v. Howard at Mercer

MACON, Ga.  – The FPD varsity football team hits the gridiron for the first time in 2015 on Thursday night, August 27, taking on the Howard High School Huskies at 7 p.m. at Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium.

Below are game notes to keep Viking and Husky fans in-the-know.

FPD FOOTBALL
GAME NOTES

FPD v. Howard
Thursday, August 27, 2015
7 p.m.

Mercer University’s Five Star Stadium
(Macon, GA)

QUICK FACTS:
HOWARD (2015) – 1-0 (0-0 Reg. 2-AAAA)
Home: 1-0; Away: 0-0; Neutral: 0-0
City: Macon, GA
Colors: Cardinal, Gray, Black
Mascot: Huskies
Region: 2-AAAA
Stadium/Field: Ed Defore Sports Complex
Head Coach: Barney Hester (4th season at Howard, 41st season overall)
Career Record: 328-149-9
State Championships: None
Region Championships: None
Overall Home Record: 4-30-0
Overall Away Record: 7-27-1
Overall Neutral Site Record: 0-2-0
Overall Program Record: 11-59-1
2015 Wins: W 28-19 vs. Lamar County on Aug. 21
2014 Wins: at Central (16-8), at Rutland (21-0), vs. Perry (20-14)
2014 Losses: at FPD (26-25 OT), at West Laurens (56-19), at Mary Persons (47-7), vs. Upson-Lee (28-20), at Veterans (21-20), vs. Baldwin (21-14)
2014 GHSA State Playoffs: Did not qualify

FPD (2014) – 7-4 (3-2 Sub Region-A 7-A)
Home: 4-1; Away: 3-3.
City: Macon, GA.
Colors: Red, Black & White
Mascot: Vikings
Region: 7-A, Sub Region A
Stadium: George S. Johnson Stadium
Field: Austin Childers Field
Head Coach: Greg Moore (16th Year)
Career Record: 115-66 overall
State Championships: 2 (1980, 1985 as member of GISA)
Region Championships: 14 (Last: 2007 as member of GISA)
Overall Home Record: 173-71-3
Overall Away Record: 132-105-2
Overall Neutral Site Record: 0-0
Overall Program Record: 306-177-5
2014 Wins: at GMC Prep (31-7 on Nov. 7), at Twiggs County (55-28 on Oct. 31), vs. Wilkinson County (41-32 on Oct. 24), vs. Mt. de Sales (42-21 on Oct. 10), at GMC Prep (62-21 on Sept. 19), vs. Monticello (9-6 on Sept. 12), vs. Howard (26-25 OT on Aug. 29)
2014 Losses: at Tattnall (28-14 on Oct. 17), vs. Stratford (28-21 on Oct. 3), at Lincoln County (10-0 on Sept. 26), at Prince Avenue (55-30 on Nov. 21)
2014 GHSA State Playoffs: L Rd. 1 at Prince Avenue 55-30 on Nov. 21

LAST TIME OUT for FPD: The Vikings dropped their pre-season scrimmage to the Central Chargers 40-21 at George S. Johnson Stadium. Garrison Hotchkiss, Armuan Smith and Robert Johnson all finished with one touchdown for the Vikings. Kicker Brad Powell was a perfect 3-for-3 on PAT’s.

Prior to the 2015 pre-season scrimmage, the Vikings fell in the first round of the 2014 GHSA Class-A Private State Playoffs at Prince Avenue 55-30 on Nov. 21

LAST TIME OUT for HOWARD: The Huskies opened their season on Aug. 21 with a come-from-behind 28-19 victory over the Lamar County High School Trojans at the Ed Defore Sports Complex.

The Huskies trailed 13-7 at halftime, but outscored the Trojans 21-6 over the final 24 minutes of action to claim the win.

Quarterback Courvoisier King threw for two touchdowns and completed eight of his 16 attempts for 216 yards. The senior also rushed for one touchdown as well.

King’s main target was classmate Alphonso Stephens, who brought in two touchdowns for 133 yards on three catches.

SERIES HISTORY: The Vikings leads the overall series with Howard 1-0. Thursday’s match-up against Howard marks the second time in as many years the Vikings and Huskies have faced one another.

In 2014, FPD defeated Howard in thrilling fashion 26-25 in overtime at Austin Childers Field at George S. Johnson Stadium.

The game marked the first time two Bibb County public and private schools had played since 1965 when Mark Smith bested Mt. de Sales 20-0.

THURSDAY NIGHT?: A high school football game is usually played on a Friday night, but did you know FPD has an extensive history playing on Thursday night’s to open the season in past years?

In season-openers on Thursday nights, the Vikings are 9-12 all-time, with the first game dating back to 1975 when Rex Putnal served as the head coach. The Vikings defeated Tattnall Square on the road 8-0 of that season.

In the 1970’s, FPD finished with a 4-1 record in season-openers on Thursday night’s, 2-5 in the 1980’s, 2-6 in the 1990’s and 1-0 in the 2000’s.

FPD’s last Thursday night season-opener in the GISA era was in 1997. The Vikings lost at Tattnall Square 35-14 under former head coach Cater Pierce.

FPD’s first and only Thursday night season-opener in the GHSA era came back in the 2010 season when the Vikings defeated Irwin County 26-8 at George S. Johnson Memorial Stadium under current head coach Greg Moore.

FPD’s all-time record in Thursday night contests including season-openers and other scheduled games is 17-21.

For a complete history of FPD football games on Thursday night, click HERE.

A LOT OF WINS BETWEEN TWO WELL KNOWN COACHES: FPD head coach Greg Moore and Howard head coach Barney Hester know how to win football games.

Hester, who had a long career at Tattnall Square Academy, has a career record of 328-149-9.

Moore, who has been the head coach of the Vikings for the past 15 years, has a career record of 115-66.

Combined between both coaches, Hester and Moore are 443-215-9.

Hester in his 41st year as a head coach has had stints at Josey Academy (1974-76), Gordon-Ivey (1977-80), Tattnall Square (1982-2012) and Howard (2013-present).

Moore is in his 16th year as head coach of the Vikings.

WHAT ABOUT TAILGATING and DIRECTIONS? Don’t worry, we have you covered. Click here for directions to Five Star Stadium and Tailgating instructions. Also included are directions to enter the stadium and which side to sit on.

PLAYERS to WATCH for FPD: 
Sr. QB Will McCormick: Threw for one 38-yard touchdown vs. Central in FPD’s pre-season scrimmage. Threw for 10 touchdowns in 2014 along with eight rushing touchdowns.

Sr. RB Reggie Gantt: Rushed for 1,028 yards in 2014 in 11 games on 135 carries for an average of 7.6 yards per carry. Totaled 12 rushing touchdowns in 2014.

Sr. K Brad Powell: Was a perfect 3-for-3 on PAT’s in FPD’s pre-season scrimmage vs. Central. Finished 2014 at 36-of-41 on PAT’s and 5-for-6 on field goals, his longest a 39 yard attempt.

Youngsters: FPD has plenty of talent at the freshman and sophomore level. The Vikings will need multiple players to contribute big minutes in Thursday’s game v. Howard at Mercer.

PLAYERS to WATCH for HOWARD: 
Sr. QB Courvoisier King: Threw for two touchdowns and 216 yards in last week’s 28-16 win over Lamar County.

Sr. WR Alphonso Stephens: Nabbed three receptions for 133 yards in last week’s 28-16 victory over Lamar County.

Howard Rushing Game: Other than King, the Huskies rushed for 132 yards in their victory over Lamar County.

FOX 24 (WGXA) COMING to CAMPUS THURSDAY MORNING: WGXA Morning News is coming to FPD on Thursday morning, August 27!

Throughout the show, the crew will shoot live spots from FPD’s campus inside George S. Johnson Stadium featuring interviews with head coach Greg Moore and players. FPD’s cheerleaders and marching band will also be featured. The airing will take place from 7:40-8:05 a.m.

13WMAZ to BE LIVE FROM FIVE STAR STADIUM: 13WMAZ Sports will be live at Mercer’s Five Star Stadium with pre-game coverage of FPD v. Howard during Eyewitness News at 5 and 6 p.m.

NEUTRAL SITE RECORD: According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association, FPD has never officially played a neutral site game. Thursday’s contest against Howard will be the first in school history at a neutral site.

Before George S. Johnson Stadium was completed in the 1980’s, FPD played it’s home games at Henderson Stadium.

43rd EDITION: The 2015 season marks the 43rd year of FPD Football. The Vikings have delivered countless memories since starting its program in the 1970’s. To date, FPD’s overall program record stands at 305-176-5.

115 WINS and COUNTING: FPD head coach Greg Moore picked up his 100th win during the 2012 season with a victory at Hancock Central. Nearly two years later, the skipper has earned his 115th victory at the helm after a 31-7 win at GMC Prep on Nov. 7. Moore is the overall leader in program wins with 115, followed by Mark Farriba (77) and Bobby Brown (72).

2014 a SEASON to REMEMBER: FPD advanced to the GHSA Class-A State Playoffs for a fourth consecutive season before falling at Prince Avenue in the first round. FPD also picked up its 300th win in program history with a thrilling 26-25 OT victory over Howard. The game marked the first time two Bibb County public and private schools had played since 1965 when Mark Smith bested Mt. de Sales 20-0.

WELL WORTH THE MOVE: Since joining the GHSA, the Vikings have enjoyed success on the local and statewide level. FPD has never had a losing season while in the league, posting an overall record of 32-22.

FPD’s best year in the GHSA was in 2011, finishing at 8-3 overall.

HOME COOKING: Since moving to the GHSA in 2010, the Vikings are 14-9 inside the friendly confines of George S. Johnson Memorial Stadium. FPD has won at least three games at home in each season but one (2011) since becoming a member of the league.

The Vikings finished 2014 with a home record of 4-1 with wins against Howard (Aug. 29), Monticello (Sept. 12) and Mt. de Sales (Oct. 10) and Wilkinson County (Oct. 24).

ON DECK: After a bye week, FPD returns to action on Friday, Sept. 12, traveling to Monticello High School to take on the Hurricanes in a non-region contest.

FPD defeated Monticello 9-6 in 2014 in a weather-shortended game.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Monticello’s Rose Bowl Stadium.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Thursday’s game v. Howard at Mercer can be followed on social media on Twitter. Follow @FPDVikingSports for live in-game updates as the Vikings take on the Huskies. The game can also be followed by using the hashtags #FPDfootball#FPDhwd15 and #FPDRightNow.

ATHLETIC WEBSITE: For all the latest scores, schedules, news releases, rosters, videos and other athletic information, visit the official website for FPD Athletics at: www.fpdvikings.com.

FACEBOOK: The Vikings are now on Facebook! Be sure to like “FPD Athletics” to keep up with the Vikings and Lady Vikings year-round!

VIDEO PREVIEW with HEAD COACH GREG MOORE:

GAME BANNER:

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IMPORTANT LINKS:
— 2014: Football Tames Howard Huskies 26-25 in Overtime (Last time out vs. Howard)
— FPD Football Homepage (with Roster)
— Howard Huskies Homepage (MaxPreps)
— Howard Huskies Roster (MaxPreps)
— Howard Rallies, Takes Control Against Lamar County (Howard’s Season-Opener) (Source: Macon Telegraph and Ron Seibel)
— FPD Football Season Preview (Source: Macon Telegraph and Ron Seibel)
— 41NBC Season Preview – 2015 FPD Football – Head Coach Greg Moore and Bill Shanks (Part 1)
— 41NBC Season Preview – 2015 FPD Football – Head Coach Greg Moore and Bill Shanks (Part 2)
Game Preview: Head Coach Greg Moore Featured on FoxSports 1670AM on August 25, 2015 (audio interview)

 

**The Georgia High School Football Historians Association, MaxPreps.com, 41NBC, and The Macon Telegraph aided in gathering information for this report.