If a loss could ever be a help in preparing a team for a future opponent, consider FPD’s loss to Howard just that.
As the Vikings get ready for undefeated Lincoln County, ranked No. 9 in the latest GHSA Class A public school power rating, they feel at least a little prepared as far as the strength and athleticism that the Devils bring to the table.
“There are a lot of similarities between (Lincoln County and Howard),” FPD head coach Greg Moore said. “Lincoln County is very strong, very hard to move on the front, and they have an awful lot of athleticism. It is eerily similar to Howard.”
Since the loss to Howard to open the season, FPD has produced back-to-back victories over Monticello and GMC, outscoring them 77-21.
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But Lincoln County can score in a variety of ways, as well. In last week’s 47-8 rout of Twiggs County, junior running back Quay Hartfield racked up 131 yards on just 13 carries and added two touchdowns. Quarterback Javon Reid added a passing and rushing touchdown, and place-kicker Ryan O’Neill booted a 50-yard field goal at the end of the first half.
The Devils have outscored their opponents 162-32 this season.
“Any time you play a good football team, you have to protect the football,” Moore said. “If we get chances down inside the red zone, we have to come away with points. Defensively, we have to make (Lincoln) earn what they get.
“Beyond that, it is whichever team executes their game plan, but if turnovers and big plays get involved too much, then sometimes it really doesn’t matter what the game plan was.”
The Vikings will once again rely on the play of three seniors, quarterback Will McCormick and running backs Reggie Gantt and Dontrez Johnson, to try and match the athleticism of Lincoln County. Each accounted for at least one touchdown in the win over GMC, with Johnson scoring twice.
“Lincoln County is a very good football team. Very good,” Gantt said. “We’ve been seeing our mistakes on film and correcting them and building on those things. It all starts on Monday, which is always our best day because we can forget about the previous win, watch and learn from our mistakes on film, and really focus in on our next opponent, which is Lincoln this week.
“We are going to have to execute, make our blocks, and limit our mistakes.”