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Strong Second Quarter Sends FPD Vikings Past Wilkinson County Warriors 31-9

MACON, Ga. – On another FPD football Friday night where the Vikings needed a win, the gang didn’t disappoint.

This time the task was tough: a 5-2 Wilksinon County Warrior team on the road on their Homecoming.

But FPD (4-4, 2-2 Reg. 7-A) rose to the occasion and came away with a 31-9 key Sub-Region 7-A victory over Wilco. (5-3, 2-2 Reg. 7-A) to get back to .500 and keep its playoff hopes alive.

“I’m just really proud of our kids,” FPD head football coach Greg Moore said. “We got off to a little bit of a slow start in that first quarter. But more importantly, I just can not describe what these kids have put up with and have heard when we were down a few weeks ago. But they get in that locker room and it’s one heartbeat after another. It’s so strong and I’m very proud of them.”

The Warriors struck for their only touchdown of the game with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter when Christopher Burney returned a 57-yard punt by Daniel Weaver for a touchdown. The kick failed and the Vikings trailed 6-0.

But in the second quarter, momentum shifted FPD’s way quickly.

The Vikings outscored the Warriors 24-0 with two touchdowns from Dontrez Johnson, a touchdown by Will McCormick and a 22-yard field goal by Brad Powell. In the blink of an eye it was 24-6 FPD at intermission.

“We zeroed in on what we liked,” Moore said. “We got it going and can’t say enough about the guys up front. They’ve really fallen in love with a couple of things we have going on right now. We wanted to be smart and take what their defense gave us and I think we did that.”

One of those guys on the front line was senior Allen Leach, who said Friday’s win was crucial.

“It feels really good to get this victory,” Leach said. “After we lost three in a row I think some people maybe gave up on us. It’s really good to get these last two wins.”

“Our goal (up front) was to own the line of scrimmage,” Leach added. “We had a game-plan and we were able to execute it tonight.”

In the second half, the Warriors scored just three points on a field goal by Deondre Fordham in the third quarter.

FPD answered with just under three minutes left in the game when McCormick found Robert Johnson in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown reception.

“It felt amazing tonight,” Robert Johnson said. “I didn’t think the ball was coming to me until Will (McCormick) told me in the huddle. He placed it perfectly.”

FPD’s other Johnson, Dontrez, is just happy to see the team moving in the right direction.

“The team played outstanding tonight,” Dontrez Johnson said. “We just have to keep that train moving to next week.”

The next train stop for FPD is at Austin Childers Field at George S. Johnson Stadium on Friday, Oct. 30 hosting the Twiggs County Cobras (4-4, 3-1 Reg. 7-A) for another Sub-Region 7-A game. The Cobras defeated Tattnall Square 22-20 Friday night on the road.

“We’re going to have to prepare for a Twiggs County team that is very good,” Moore said. “They beat this tough Wilco. team and have changed their entire way of thinking about things. We’ll have our hands full next Friday.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Pink Night to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. It’s also Senior Night for the FPD Varsity Cross Country team and Community Service Night.

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.

GAME NOTES:
— FPD leads the all-time series against Wilkinson County 3-1. FPD has won three straight against the Warriors and two on the road. FPD defeated Wilco. 41-40 in 2013 in Irwinton.
— Sr. Dontrez Johnson has scored the last six of FPD’s nine touchdowns in the past two games. He’s rushed for 388 total yards in two games.
— FPD totaled 20 first downs on Friday night, 16 of which came via the rush.
— The Viking defense held the Warrior offense to under 200 yards (192). Wilkinson County finished with 12 first downs with just three coming in the first half.
— Both teams fumbled once but never lost possession in Friday’s contest.
— Sr. Brad Powell has made field goals in back-to-back games for the Vikings. He hit a 22-yard field goal in second quarter on Friday night. He also recorded five touchbacks and was a perfect 4-for-4 on PAT’s.
— FPD scored all of its points in the even numbered quarters while Wilkinson County scored all of their points in the odd numbered quarters.
— Sophomore Robert Johnson picked up his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard pass from quarterback Will McCormick.
— Wilkinson County was called for five offsides penalties on Friday night. FPD totaled five penalties altogether while Wilkinson County finished with nine.
— FPD is now 17-13 all-time in GHSA play on the road.
— Vikings head coach Greg Moore picked up win no. 119 on Friday night.
— Sr. Daniel Weaver booted away five punts on Friday night for a total of 216 yards. His longest was a 57-yard punt.
— Friday’s victory marks the first time the Vikings have been back at .500 since Sept. 18 after a win over GMC Prep.

POST-GAME VIDEOS:

Team Meeting

Head Coach Greg Moore

Soph. Robert Johnson

Sr. Allen Leach

Def. Coordinator Ken Garvin

Sr. Dontrez Johnson

BOX SCORE:
FPD 31, WILKINSON COUNTY 9

FPD 0-24-0-7—31
Wilkinson County 6-0-3-0—9

First Quarter
WC — Burney 57 punt return (kick failed)

Second Quarter
FPD — D. Johnson 6 run (Powell kick)
FPD — McCormick 6 run (Powell kick)
FPD — D. Johnson 10 run (Powell kick)
FPD — Powell 22 field goal

Third Quarter
WC — Fordham 25 field goal

Fourth Quarter
FPD — R. Johnson 14 pass from McCormick (Powell kick)

FPD — WC
First downs 20 — 12
Rushes-yards 54-339 — 33-142
Passing yards 56 — 50
Comp-Att-Int 4-10-0 — 9-22-2
Fumbles-Fumbles lost 1-0 — 1-0
Penalties-yards 5-50 — 9-69

TOP INDIVIDUALS:
RUSHING — FPD: D. Johnson 24-183, McCormick 16-84; Wilkinson County: T. Jackson 13-94, A. Jackson 10-41.
PASSING — FPD: McCormick 4-9-0 56; Wilkinson County: Grable 9-22-2 50.
RECEIVING — FPD: Harris 1-18, Gordon 1-17, R. Johnson 1-14; Wilkinson County: A.J. Jackson 3-23.