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FPD Football Responds to Adversity with A No-Quit Attitude

After Alabama experienced a tough loss legendary Alabama Football Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant told his team in the locker room, “Losing doesn’t make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder,” In the second game of the season on September 1st the FPD Football team experienced their own tough loss to Brookstone 34-27. The loss came on a touchdown in the final 10 seconds which made it even more gut wrenching, however the senior captains spoke almost those same words to their teammates immediately afterward in the locker room. Seniors Dalton Cox and Blaine Kizer urged their teammates to continue to work hard and keep moving forward not looking backwards and dwelling on what just had taken place minutes ago on the field. Adversity had struck and it struck painfully hard. Before the team exited Coach Greg Moore asked the team a very simple question, – “Now that adversity has struck how will you respond?” Ohio State’s Urban Meyer would call it E+R=O. The “Event” plus your “Response” will ultimately determine the “Outcome.”

The question was answered that Monday afternoon when the team, who has become like family, responded to the Brookstone event by embracing the grind of correcting mistakes that were made and fine tuning the areas of their game both offensively and defensively that needed a tune-up. Coach Moore and the staff challenged the guys to respond to the adversity with the right mindset mentally and physically. The Seniors led the way with their attitude and approach and the younger guys followed suit.

The Friday night road game September 8th at Hawkinsville presented their first public response to Coach Moore’s question. While FPD would score first against Hawkinsville they found themselves down 14-7 early in the second quarter. Facing adversity again the team would rally together with the determination this night would not end the way Brookstone had ended a week earlier. FPD would go on to outscore Hawkinsville 51-13 over the remaining two and half quarters of play and walk away with a dominate 58-27 performance.

The team would face adversity again this past week of Sept 11th thanks to the impact of Hurricane Irma, which not only moved the originally scheduled game from Friday to Saturday but also limited the team’s usual preparation. Their response however was the same. They were focused on excelling at execution and that focus would allow them to walk off the field against Warren County with a 49-20 win.

FPD enters into their bye week with a record of 3-1 and momentum on their side. They’ll continue to fine tune their game up on both sides of the ball focusing on the details that are so important to the success of any organization. “It’s the details,” Coach Moore has echoed over and over that make the biggest impact of deciding whether anyone or anything is successful.

On the season offensively FPD is led by its Senior QB Dalton Cox, who has thrown for 966 total yards and 12 TDs while also completing 75% of his passes behind the protection of the offensive line. The guys that have been on the receiving end of the majority of Cox’s passes are Seniors Titus Moore (20 receptions 389 yards 6TDs), Maurice Gordon (16 receptions 256 yards 5TDs), and Blaine Kizer (11 receptions 159 yards TD). However, this isn’t a one-dimensional offense. They have also rushed for over 500 yards and average almost 5 yards a carry thanks to the offensive line opening up the running lanes. Junior RB Josh Raines leads the rushing attack averaging over 6 yards a carry and leads the team with 365 yards on 60 carries that include 5 rushing TDs.

Defensively they are led by Senior Inside Linebacker Ryan Jones who leads the team in tackles with 31and one fumble recovery. Other impact players on the defensive side of the ball include Senior OLB Ja’Cobe Singletary (20 tackles), Senior DL Byrant Beall (19 tackles and 1 fumble recover), Senior Titus Moore (17 tackles, & INT), Senior Robert Jones (15 tackles 3 for loss), Senior Maurice Gordon (8 tackles & 2 INTs with TD), and Junior DL Wesley Wilson who has caused 3 fumbles from the nose guard position. The FPD defense through 4 games has 7 takeaways and in games in which they have a takeaway the team is undefeated. Those takeaways have also resulted in 42 points.

FPD will be deep “in the details” this week during their bye week moving forward as they prepare for the start of region play and the second half of the 2017 season. They’ll be back in action at home September 29th looking for revenge against Twiggs County from last season. As Coach Bryant said, “It’s not the will to win that matters. Everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters. If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride and never quit. You’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.”