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Vikings Battle Past Warren County Screaming Devils 13-6

WARRENTON, Ga. – In a battle of two top-ranked unbeaten teams in the GHSA Class-A Private and Public Power Ratings, it was the no. 1 private FPD Vikings (4-0) who prevailed late in a defensive battle over the no. 7 public Warren County High School Screaming Devils (3-1) 13-6 at Albert Massey Field on Friday night, Sept. 16.

With the Vikings clinging to a 7-6 lead in the fourth quarter, FPD junior Robert Johnson intercepted a Jarvis Collins pass and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown. The extra point failed to give FPD a 13-6 lead with 7:11 to play in the contest.

FPD’s defense held the Screaming Devils at bay on their final possessions and walked away victorious to remain unbeaten in the 2016 campaign.

“It was a very tough high school football game,” FPD head coach Greg Moore said. “Warren County has a very good football team and I think we responded well when things didn’t necessarily go our way.”

For a team that was averaging over 300 yards of offense per game, the Vikings totaled just 182 yards on offense via the rush and pass, much to the credit of the Screaming Devils defensive attack.

“We were our own worst enemy at times and Warren County helped,” Moore said. “They are a very aggressive football team and are tough to deal with on both sides of the ball.”

Nonetheless, the Vikings will certainly take the win heading into an open week.

“Both teams were just fighting back and forth all night,” Johnson said. “It just happened to fall in our favor tonight.”

The Vikings, albeit a sluggish start, struck first with 4:55 to play in the first quarter when Armaun Smith ran in a one-yard touchdown and Andrei Parrish made the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Collins put the Screaming Devils on the board with a two-yard touchdown run, but the two-point conversion failed and FPD led 7-6 at halftime.

“Our defense had to stand up,” senior captain E.J. Tobler said. “In the first half we didn’t do so well but in the second half our defense created some turnovers and we ended up with the win.”

Both teams battled back and forth in the third quarter, but neither team could punch in a score.

But in the fourth frame, Johnson’s pick-six changed the momentum and ultimately led to the Viking victory.

“We didn’t make the greatest decisions in the world and we weren’t in sync for much of the game and that’s the first time that’s happened this year,” Moore said. “We’ll go back and take a look at things on film and see what we need to do to fix those issues moving forward.”

The Vikings will gladly welcome the bye week for the week of Sept. 23 to rest and recover in order to prepare for sub-region play beginning Sept. 30.

“It’s important for us to get some rest and get better heading into region play,” Johnson said. “Region play is going to be big for us.”

Moore knows there is still work to be done.

“This game, I hope, was good medicine for us in understanding you have to find different ways to get things done throughout the course of a high school football season.”

“I still can’t say enough about our guys and their hearts, though,” Moore added. “They battled hard all night in a really tough game. I’m proud of them for getting this win.”

After the bye week, FPD kicks off sub-region play at Twiggs County High School on Friday, Sept. 30.

Kickoff against the Cobras is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at The Pit in Jeffersonville, Ga.

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.

BOX SCORE:

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POST-GAME VIDEOS:

Team Meeting:

Robert Johnson:

E.J. Tobler:

Head Coach Greg Moore:

GAME NOTES:

— FPD leads the overall series against Warren County 3-0 after Friday’s 13-6 win. Two of the three victories have come at Albert Massey Field.

— FPD’s 4-0 start is the best in GHSA program history.

— The Viking defense forced the Screaming Devils into three turnovers: one interception that was returned for a touchdown and two fumbles.

— FPD head coach Greg Moore picked up his 125th career win on Friday night. All wins have come has head coach of the Vikings.

— Friday’s game was the 31st GHSA road game in program history for the Vikings. FPD is 17-14 away from Austin Childers Field at George S. Johnson Stadium after Friday’s win.

— In three games played against Warren County, the Vikings have outscored the Screaming Devils 100-38.