Stratford ran for 260 yards in the first half to take a big lead and coasted to a GHSA Region 7A-A win 41-21 over FPD on Friday.
O’Showen Williams rushed for 167 yards and two touchdowns, while Kasey Sanders had 144 and Tyler Jordan added 102. The Eagles finished with 432 yards on 43 carries.
“I don’t know if I have ever had a team have three backs with over 100 yards,” said Eagles head coach Mark Farriba, whose team improved to 3-2. “We came out and played very aggressive early in the game, and I was very pleased with the way we were able to move the football. But our defense was excellent in this game. They really set the tone early.”
FPD was able to move the ball early behind quarterback Will McCormick and receiver Daniel Weaver, but it could not put points on the board. Meanwhile, Stratford scored the first three times it had the ball. The Eagles went 75 yards on only five plays the first time they had the ball, with Jordan going in from 4 yards out to take a lead. After the defense, led by Larson McDaniel and Tobe Umerah forced a punt, the Eagles scored again on a touchdown run by Sanders to take a 12-0 lead.
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FPD could not move the ball on its next possession, and after a punt, Williams broke loose for a 72-yard to make it a 20-0 game after one quarter. Things didn’t improve for FPD as McCormick was intercepted and Quintez Cephus returned the interception 56 yards for yet another touchdown.
FPD finally got on the board with a McCormick-to-Weaver 11-yard pass late in the second quarter, but Stratford quickly answered on a 40-yard touchdown run by Sanders to make it 34-7 at the half.
McCormick completed 17-of-29 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, while Weaver had 11 catches for 165 yards.
Williams also had a huge play on defense, when he forced a fumble with a hit on Weaver in the third quarter when FPD was threatening to build a combeack.
“I just wanted to do whatever I had to do to help my team,” said Williams, who sat out last week’s game with a hip injury. “I think we are getting better as the year goes by, and the offensive line did a great job.”
FPD head coach Greg Moore was disappointed in the first half but saw some positive signs in the second half.
“We got whipped in every phase of the game in the first half, and we challenged them at half and answered that challenge,” Moore said. “We were all frustrated by the first half, but we just have to keep working to get better.”