After dropping its first two contests of the season by a combined score of 66-10, the last thing FPD could think about was making it to the playoffs.
But Greg Moores Vikings have shown great resolve, winning six out of their past seven games and moving all the way up to No. 15 in the latest GHSA Class A private school power rankings.
FPD will have one final regular-season test, against undefeated Aquinas, in a game that could vault the Vikings up in the power rankings and give them the chance to win the Region 7-A championship.
With the positives, however, it is also possible that a loss could knock FPD out of one of 16 spots for the playoffs.
We have done a great job of refocusing after the losses and just worrying about our next opponent, said Moore, whose team has scored 40 points or more in three straight games. If we get to worrying about where we are in the power rankings, if we lose or where we go if we win, it just gets to be a little overwhelming. Now, it is just keep working and keep getting better and see what happens.
Aquinas (9-0) is averaging 39 points per game and only has been tested once in a 19-16 win over George Walton early in the season. That same George Walton team handily defeated FPD 36-10.
They are very, very good, said Moore, who added that calling Aquinas dangerous on the offensive side of the ball would be a huge understatement. They are probably the most complete team that we have matched up with this year, and they are not undefeated by accident. Obviously, it will be a great test for our football team.
But FPD is also loaded with offensive weapons. The Vikings have four players with more than 300 yards of rushing in Reggie Gantt, Ryan Lindsey, Jam Morris and quarterback Will McCormick, as well as a player, OShowen Williams, who has more than 450 yards receiving.
We have a great array of talent that likes what we are trying to do with the football, Moore said. Everyone has adapted to their roles, and it has paid off lately.
It certainly has. Now the Vikings have to hope it pays off for one more game in the regular season and possibly more in the playoffs.
I will tell them that we are very proud of them from fighting back from a 0-2 start, Moore said. They have put themselves in a position to play a meaningful football game this weekend when there are so many teams that are just playing out the string. The rewards for winning this game are very high, and losing this game puts us who knows where.
Playing in a game with major implications at this time of year, though, is a very good feeling.