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Stratford Eagles Run Past FPD Vikings 41-21

MACON, Ga. – Some nights you just have to tip your cap.

And that’s exactly what the Vikings did on Friday night as FPD (2-3, 0-1 Reg. A 7-A) fell to its long-time rival in the Stratford Academy Eagles (3-2, 1-0 A Reg. 7-A) 41-21 at the Dr. John Paul Jones Fieldhouse and Football Field.

The win gives the Eagles a slim 20-19-1 advantage in the all-time series history and a one-game lead in the sub-region over the Vikings.

“It was a tale of two halves,” FPD head football coach Greg Moore said. “But I think what’s more important is that we got whipped in that first half and you have to give Stratford credit for that.”

The game certainly didn’t go FPD’s way early.

The Eagles posted three touchdowns, all with less than six minutes to play in the first quarter.

The first score of the game came on a Tyler Jordan three-yard goal-line run followed by a Kasey Sanders four-yard goal-line run. Both extra points were no good, but the Eagles responded with a 72-yard touchdown run by O’Showen Williams as time expired in the first quarter. Williams would then complete the 2-point conversion and within the blink of an eye, the Eagles led the Vikings 20-0.

“There’s nothing really to say except that Coach (Mark) Farriba and his staff deserves a lot of credit,” Moore said. “They got us in the first half.”

The Eagles struck again less than two minutes into the second quarter when Quintez Cephus intercepted a pass by FPD’s Will McCormick and returned it 55 yards for another touchdown. Jake Jamison added the extra point and the Eagles lead 27-0.

The Vikings responded with a touchdown at the midpoint of the second quarter when McCormick aired it into the end zone to Daniel Weaver for an 11-yard touchdown. Brad Powell added the point after to make it a 27-7 game in Stratford’s favor.

But with 3:36 remaining in the first half, Sanders found a seam in the Viking defense and rushed 40-yards to end zone. Along with Jamison’s extra point, FPD trailed 34-7 at intermission.

“I just told the kids that they had a choice at halftime whether they wanted to just give up right now and throw in the towel or if they wanted to continue to fight and try to get back in the ball game in the second half,” Moore said.

FPD chose the latter.

After a few offensive possessions gone awry for both squads, FPD strung together a drive that ended with a McCormick one-yard touchdown run and a Powell extra point to make it a 34-14 game with 4:36 to play in the third quarter.

“The kids came back and fought,” Moore said. “It was hard at halftime when you’re down 34-7. It took a lot of courage and fortitude to come back out of that locker room and play hard in the second half and I was proud of them for that.”

Once in the fourth quarter, though, and running out of time, Williams put Stratford’s final touchdown on the board and the game in the books with 7:42 left on a two-yard touchdown run. Jamison made the extra point for a 41-14 lead.

FPD’s final touchdown of the game came with 5:34 remaining when McCormick found Weaver for his second score from 24-yards out. Powell’s PAT made it 41-21.

The Vikings will look to turn the page quickly as they continue sub-region play next week at Mount de Sales Academy, who dropped its first sub-region contest at Twiggs County 38-7 on Friday night.

“We’ll have to go back at the film and look at some things we didn’t get done tonight,” Moore said. “Obviously we want to get off to a better start and run the ball better. We didn’t do that tonight.”

“But more than anything, we have to make sure our hearts are OK and that we want to get ready to come back next week and fight again because that’s what has to happen,” Moore added.

Kickoff against the Mount de Sales Cavaliers is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Sister Elizabeth Lowman Field at Mike Garvin Stadium.

The Vikings took down the Cavaliers 42-21 on Oct. 10, 2014 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 www.fpdvikings.com and sign up for up-to-the-minute news and scores by following the Vikings on Twitter at @FPDVikingSports and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fpdathletics.

POST-GAME VIDEOS:
Post-Game Team Meeting at Stratford

Head Coach Greg Moore

ODDS and ENDS – GAME NOTES:
— Friday’s game was the 40th meeting between both schools. With the Eagles winning, Stratford holds a 20-19-1 lead in the all-time series history, including winning two straight.
— Will McCormick threw for 328 yards on Friday night, totaling two touchdowns and two interceptions.
— Daniel Weaver hauled in a career-high 172 yards receiving in Friday’s loss. The senior also scored two touchdowns.
— FPD was called for nine penalties in Friday’s game, totaling 90 yards while Stratford was whistled for six penalties for 40 yards.
— Both squads put up over 400 yards of total offense. FPD finished with 328 yards passing and 86 yards rushing. Stratford tallied 433 rushing yards and 30 passing yards.
— FPD had more first downs (2) than Stratford at 17-15.
— FPD fumbled just once in Friday’s loss while Stratford never lost the football
— FPD scored the same number of points against Stratford (21) in 2015 just as they did in 2014.
— The 41 points allowed by FPD against Stratford is the most since Nov. 2 of 2001. The Vikings lost 52-16 that season
— FPD is now 11-7 all-time at Stratford after Friday’s loss.

PHOTOS:
Photos on Flickr from FPD Football at Stratford (FPD Communications Department)

MEDIA COVERAGE:
Stratford Running Game Too Much for FPD (Macon Telegraph)
FPD Football on #Tailgate13 Show (Greg Moore interview) (13WMAZ)
Football Friday Night Highlights Coming Soon… (13WMAZ)
41 NBC Highlights Coming Soon… (41 NBC)

BOX SCORE:

STRATFORD 41, FPD 21

FPD 0-7-7-7—21
Stratford 20-14-0-7—41

First Quarter
S — Jordan 4 run (kick failed)
S — Sanders 4 run (kick failed)
S — Williams 72 run (Williams run)

Second Quarter
S — Cephus 56 interception return (Jamison kick)
P — Weaver 11 pass from McCormick (Powell kick)
S — Sanders 40 run (Jamison kick)

Third Quarter
P — McCormick 1 run (Powell kick)

Fourth Quarter
S — Williams 2 run (Jamison kick)
P — Weaver 24 pass from McCormick (Powell kick)

FPD—SEA
First downs 17—17
Rushes-yards 33-75 — 42-434
Passing yards 320 — 30
Comp-Att-Int 17-29-2 — 3-4-0
Fumbles-Fumbles lost 1-1 — 0-0
Penalties-yards 7-80 — 3-20

TOP INDIVIDUALS
RUSHING — FPD: Johnson 16-62; Stratford: Williams 15-167, Sanders 13-144, Jordan 11-106.
PASSING — FPD: McCormick 17-29-2 320; Stratford: Patrick 3-4-0 30.
RECEIVING — FPD: Weaver 11-167, Smith 3-106, Hotchkiss 2-46; Stratford: Cephus 2-13, O’Quinn 1-17.