Football Drops Thriller to Stratford 28-21

MACON, Ga. – Friday’s FPD vs. Stratford football game had a little something for everyone involved in the historic rivalry between the two schools: pre-game hype, a sellout crowd, the beginning of sub-region play, dramatic plays, third down stands, and more.

But when it was all said and done, it was the Stratford Eagles (3-2, 1-0 Reg. A 7-A) sliding past the FPD Vikings (3-2, 0-1 Reg. A 7-A) 28-21 at Austin Childers Field at George S. Johnson Stadium.

It was the first match-up between the two schools since 2009. The win evens the all-time series at 19-19-1.

“In the end I think they made one more play than we did,” FPD head coach Greg Moore said. “Both teams played hard and both teams made some mistakes – we certainly did early.”

That one play was a 19-yard touchdown run by Stratford’s O’Showen Williams in the fourth quarter with 23 seconds remaining followed by a Thomas Traynham extra point to give the Eagles a 28-21 lead.

FPD was forced to go 80-yards after the ensuing kickoff, but time expired after FPD quarterback Will McCormick found senior Jonathan Raines for a 48-yard reception.

“It was tough, there’s no question,” Moore said. “But, I think it was a really good high school football game. They just made one more play than we did.”

The Vikings seemed in control despite a dismal first quarter that included three fumbles. FPD went into the locker room with a 13-7 lead.

“We know what we wanted to do,” Moore said. “But it’s not quite that easy to execute it sometimes. Our kids responded well throughout the game when things got hard and we still had a chance to win the game.”

Stratford struck first less than three minutes into the first quarter when quarterback Quintez Cephus scored on a six-yard run. The Vikings answered with 14 seconds left in the quarter on a 12-yard score by Reggie Gantt to even the contest at 7-7.

Kicker Brad Powell added the next six points for the Vikings on two made field goals in the second quarter, one from 35-yards out and the other from 22-yards to give FPD a 13-7 advantage.

But the Eagles punched back mid-way through the third quarter when Williams scored the first of his two touchdowns from two-yards out with 6:42 to play in the period. The extra point by Traynham gave the Eagles a 14-13 lead.

“Coach Farriba and those guys do a great job running their offense,” Moore said. “That made it tough.”

The momentum shifted even more in favor of Stratford when Austin DeVenney ran in a touchdown on a 16-yard carry along with a Traynham extra point to put the Eagles ahead 21-13.

Then the Vikings dug deep with 3:52 to play in the fourth quarter on a Gantt three-yard touchdown run. The junior followed his score with a 2-point conversion to even the contest at 21-21.

“I thought we played okay on offense,” Moore said. “We found some chinks in the armor and some guys stepped up and made some big plays. It’s unfortunate that it will be overshadowed by the way it ended.”

That ending was the 19-yard touchdown run by Williams with 23 seconds to play with a Traynham extra point to put Stratford ahead for good.

Moore said the turnovers hurt and that the Vikings will have to turn the page quickly for next week’s Homecoming game against Mt. de Sales.

“We lost the game but we didn’t lose our season,” Moore said. “How we respond to losing this ball game is going to have a lot to do with how we finish the rest of our season.”

Gantt led the Vikings in rushing with 119 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. McCormick was 10-for-18 with 189 yards in the air. Jam Morris finished the night with four receptions for 102 yards.

DeVenney paced the Eagles on the ground with 145 yards and one touchdown on 14 attempts.

The Vikings out-gained the Eagles on offense 376-298. Stratford’s rushing yards totaled 295.

“This is the hard part in this whole thing,” Moore said. “We’ve only played five games. We have our hands full next week with Mt. de Sales, then the week after with Tattnall, then Wilkinson County. It doesn’t stop. We don’t have time to wallow around. Instead we have to get back to work for what’s ahead.”

Kickoff against the Cavaliers is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 10 at Austin Childers Field at George S. Johnson Stadium.

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 and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by visiting


– With Friday’s win, Stratford tied the all-time series against FPD at 19-19-1. It was the 39th game overall in the series.

– The Vikings have played the Eagles 21 times at home. However, Stratford owns a 8-13 record in those contests.

– Friday’s game was the first time the two schools have met in GHSA play. It was the first time since 2009 the school’s have met.

– A total of 14 games have been decided by 10 points or fewer in the FPD vs. Stratford football series. FPD owns a 6-7-1 record in those contests.

– FPD dedicated the Wilson-Anderson Family Pavilion prior to Friday’s game vs. Stratford.

– FPD is now 13-9 all-time at home since joining the GHSA. FPD is 2-1 this season at George S. Johnson Stadium.

– The Vikings out-gained the Eagles in total yards on offense (376-298), first downs (19-15) and passing yards (189-3).

– FPD was whistled for eight penalties for a total of 68 yards while Stratford finished with four penalties for 40 yards.

– There were a total of six fumbles in Friday night’s game. The Vikings fumbled four times while the Eagles lost the ball twice. Five of those six fumbles were recorded as fumbles lost.

– Three of the four FPD kickoff returns were returned more than 30 yards, the most a 35-yard return by Jonathan Raines.

– Both teams scored in each quarter of play but one: Stratford (2nd quarter) and FPD (3rd quarter).



Stratford 7-0-7-14 — 28
FPD 7-6-0-8

First Quarter
S — Quintez Cephus 6 run (Thomas Traynham good)
FPD — Reggie Gantt 12 run (Brad Powell good)

Second Quarter
FPD — Powell 35 field goal (good)
FPD — Powell 22 field goal (good)

Third Quarter
S — O’Showen Williams 2 run (Traynham good)

Fourth Quarter
S — Austin DeVenney 16 run (Traynham good)
FPD — Gannt 3 run (Gantt 2-point conv. good)
S — Williams 19 run (Traynham good)

First downs 15 — 19
Rushes-yards 43-287 — 35-185
Passing yards 2 — 188
Comp-Att-Int 1-3-0 — 10-18-0
Fumbles-Fumbles Lost 2-2 — 4-3

Top Individuals:
RUSHING: Stratford — Devenney 14-143; FPD — Gantt 2-115.
PASSING: Stratford — Quintez Cephus 1-3-0 3; FPD — Will McCormick 9-17-0 183.
RECEIVING: Stratford — Williams 1-2; FPD — Jam Morris 4-102


QUICK LINKS (Post-game):

Macon Telegraph Post-Game Article by Ron Seibel

13WMAZ #Tailgate13 Show – Coach Moore Interview

13WMAZ #Tailgate13 Show – Student Section & Preview

13WMAZ #Tailgate13 Show – Wes Blankenship Preview

13WMAZ Football Friday Night Highlights:

41NBC Highlights:


In-game Photos on our Flickr Feed  

Viking Fanfare Photos on our Flickr Feed