Motivation isn’t expected to be much of a hurdle Friday for Mount de Sales and FPD.
Despite the regular season being halfway over, the importance of needing a win to jockey for position in the GHSA Class A private school power rankings isn’t needed to motivate the Vikings (2-3) or Cavaliers (1-4).
The two teams tangle again Friday at Mike Garvin Stadium.
“We have not been getting the results in recent weeks that we would like, but there is always an energy in preparation when you are getting ready to play one of your in-town rivals,” Mount de Sales head coach Keith Hatcher said. “We’ve had a great week of preparation, and the kids are excited about the opportunity to play FPD.”
In order to qualify for the playoffs, teams in Class A have to place in the top 16 of their respective classification’s power rankings. FPD enters this week 18th, and a victory would keep them in position to make a move. Power rankings, however, are the least of the Vikings’ concern as they look to snap a two-game losing skid.
“We don’t talk about power rankings or standings,” FPD head coach Greg Moore said. “Right now, we’re just talking about Mount de Sales. All we can control is how we play against Mount de Sales.”
The second of those two losses was last week’s 41-21 defeat at the hands of Stratford. The Vikings trailed 34-7 at the half but didn’t roll over, putting a pair of second-half touchdowns on the board. The Vikings are hopeful to carry that effort forward into Friday’s game.
“It’s a hard thing to learn, ‘What are the things I can control? But I can always control how hard I play.’ And that takes quite a bit maturity as a team to learn,” Moore said. “The one thing that doesn’t ever have to be up for debate is how hard you can work, and in that regard, I was more than pleased from the second half.”
That effort will have a chance to be shown off in the defensive secondary against Mount de Sales. A Vikings secondary led by Robert Johnson’s three interceptions will go up against a pass-heavy Mount de Sales offense that has employed a two-quarterback rotation of Addison Hutton and Pinkney Gilchrist. As has been the case for a better of the season, Mount de Dales will play the quarterback Hatcher believes has “the hot hand.”
Hutton is 14-of-34 for 158 yards with a touchdown and four interceptions. Gilchrist is 37-of-77 for 469 yards to go with five touchdowns and six interceptions.
“They spread the ball out on offense. You have to make sure that you are in the right place and understand how they threaten you, because they can,” Moore said. “They have plenty of players on that football team that are very good football players.”
Mount de Sales will look to put the brakes on a three-game losing streak against FPD with the defeats coming to Strong Rock, Aquinas and Twiggs County.
“We’ve gotten a little bit better each week but just haven’t put a game together in all three phases,” Hatcher said. “That’s what we’re hoping to do Friday night.”