When FPD and Tattnall Square face off Friday night, each team will be seeking a desperately needed victory to snap a three-game losing streak.
The GHSA Region 7A-A matchup will feature the two teams at the bottom of the sub-region standings.
But despite the magnitude of the game for the teams’ seasons, neither coach considered it a vitally important win from a record standpoint. Both Tattnall head coach Clint Morgan and FPD head coach Greg Moore want to see improvements from their team, first and foremost.
“It’s an old cliche, I know, but our focus is on becoming a better football team,” Morgan said. “Not only is it the fact that it is a region game, it’s a game that’s ultimately going to decide whether we’re getting back on track or continuing a losing streak.”
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Moore said the game is not “any more important or any less important than any other game we’ve already played.” Instead of focusing on the Trojans, the Vikings (2-4, 0-2 Region 7A-A) are looking to improve their own play.
“Our focus is on us,” Moore said. “Our focus right now is on us getting better as a team and trying to play our best game of the year, which we don’t think we’ve done yet, but we still think we can.”
The Vikings are coming off a one-point loss to Mount de Sales after a 14-0 defeat at the hands of Lincoln County and a 41-21 loss to Stratford. During the losing streak, Moore said his team simply has not executed.
“(We’re) not making the plays we need to make when we get the chance to make them,” he said. “I think a bigger issue is all of the kids understanding how important every single player is on the field and how important it is that he upholds his responsibility when he hits that field on a Friday night.”
With Stratford and Twiggs County currently boasting 2-0 sub-region records, both teams will need a victory Friday night to keep their hopes alive. But neither Moore nor Morgan spoke of region or postseason hopes. A win this week is on the forefront for both teams in order to end their losing ways.
From an on-the-field aspect, Moore said the biggest challenge Tattnall presents is its weapons and explosiveness.
“They have some extremely talented players on different spots on the field who are very, very dangerous,” he said. “We have to spend a lot of time this week making sure we know where those guys are, making sure we have all our people in the right place so we can defend them.”
Utilizing those weapons has been a focus of Morgan and his staff. Formerly a team that ran the ball “about 92 percent of the time,” Tattnall made a scheme change to a more pass-oriented offense after its 42-19 loss to Hancock Central.
“Now, we’re throwing the football about 85 percent of the time,” Morgan said. “It’s been a complete overhaul, no doubt.”
He called the transition a “two-year process” as the Trojans made the switch from an option offense after attending camps and considering the switch in the past.
“We’re just trying to figure out what our identity is,” he said. “We need to make sure we’re doing the things we’re good at, and I thought we made strides in this past Friday night’s game.”
Tattnall (3-3, 0-2) broke the program’s record for most completions in a game last week. Now, the Trojans will be looking for the spread attack to reap a victory. Morgan expects the passing matchup to be “pretty good,” but he does not consider the matchup an advantage for his team against the Vikings.
Instead, Morgan said the game is “probably going to come down to time of possession and who makes the fewest mistakes and turnovers.”