Monroe County boys led FPD (10-2) to history on Friday night when they advanced to the Elite 8 of the state playoffs for the first time since joining the Georgia High School Association (GHSA).
The Vikings eviscerated Mt. Vernon of Atlanta 31-0 and thanks to winning the coin flip, will get to host defending state champion Prince Avenue Christian School (11-1) on Friday with a chance to go to the state semifinals.
The Wolverines obliterated Brookstone (8-4) of Columbus 52-0 on Friday. FPD beat that Brookstone team 28-7 on Sept. 3. The teams do have one other common opponent. Both lost to Calvary Day (12-0) of Savannah, which the winner will likely play in the semifinals. Prince Avenue lost to Calvary Day 21-13, while FPD lost to them 14-7, in their first matchup this season.
Prince Avenue won the state title last year with star quarterback Brock Vandagriff, a 5-star recruit now with the No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs. He’s the son of Prince Avenue coach Greg Vandagriff. But new quarterback, sophomore Aaron Philo, has been pretty stout too in Prince Avenue’s fast-paced attack. Philo is 205 of 288 on the year with 3,422 yards, or 311 yards per game, and 39 touchdowns.
Friday’s game will be one of contrast between FPD’s strong defense and running game, and Prince Avenue’s fast-paced offense.
Until Friday, the Vikings had lost in Round 2 of the playoffs five times since joining the GHSA 12 years ago.
FPD jumped on top early against the Mustangs as junior running back Griffin Green of Monroe County plunged in from 1 yard out to make 6-0. Sophomore Lucas Buckner of Monroe County made the PAT and it was 7-0.
Next, Viking quarterback Jakhari Williams found senior Jackson Moore of Monroe County who scored and it was 14-0 after the first quarter.
Buckner added a short field goal in the second quarter and the Vikings led 17-0 at the half.
In the third quarter, Williams connected with Moore again, this time on a long streaking pass for 66 yards and FPD led 24-0. Moore finished with 4 catches for 76 yards and a touchdown, and also had 2 rushes for 24 yards and even threw a pass for 18 yards.
Green scored again in the fourth quarter and senior Park Davis of Forsyth made the PAT to finalize the scoring at 31-0. Green ran 23 times for 94 yards and 2 touchdowns, and also caught 3 passes for 26 yards.
In leading the shutout, senior linebacker Coleman Cauley of Monroe County recorded 16 tackles.
The Vikings have now won eight games in a row.
Ironically FPD is making its deepest run in the GHSA playoffs the same year that it is leaving the league for the GISA. All Macon private schools, and several others around the state, announced earlier this fall they are returning to the GISA.