It’s not easy to win on the road, but First Presbyterian Christian Academy did — and by a wide margin. The Highlanders beat the Crisp Academy Wildcats 40-6 in Cordele.
It was a repeat performance of last year, when the Highlanders beat Crisp. Last season, it was the Highlanders’ first football win. This year, it marks the first win of the 2015 season.
“They played football,” Highlander coach Terry Middleton said of his team. “They’ve been trying to get their heads on right, and they ended up playing hardnosed football.”
FPCA took a quick 8-0 lead, but Crisp answered. The Wildcats scored off a Hail Mary but trailed 8-6.
Highlander Josh Armour scored off a touchdown pass thrown by Dylan Stewart. Minutes later, Sensier Carnes scored a touchdown and Jimmy Ouyang converted for two-points.
FPCA took the 22-6 lead into the intermission.
In the second half, Jamison Golson showed his agility and speed, running in a touchdown from nearly midfield. Armour caught a pass that was deflected and ran in in for another FPCA touchdown.
Ouyang added the final TD on a run.
“He was on fire last night,” Middleton said about Ouyang, who also had three interceptions. “You are either going to go south or you are going to step up and play this game. … And that is what they did. Their confidence was up and they remembered the win last year, and this was about the timeframe when everything started to work for us last year.”
Middleton said the Wildcats should be commended.
“They are in the same boat we were in last year, with only 14 players,” the coach said. “But those kids played hard, they were coached well and they stayed at it the whole time. With the numbers they had and to play as hard as they did and still bring it … I am proud of those kids just as much as I am proud of my players.”
Middleton added that the Highlanders still played without Brandon Attical, who is injured, and it was Austin Hendrix’s return after missing time because of his own injury. The coach said the defensive ends and the addition of healthy players really helped.
“Our two defensive ends, Nasmeek Murphy and Dylan Bradham, did an outstanding job,” Middleton said. “Murphy had two sacks, and they did exactly what they were supposed to do.”
The coach hopes his team will carry this win into next week’s big challenge — playing Southwest Georgia Academy in Damascus.
“Our schedule is just rigorous, and we go to Southwest next week and that is one of those games form last year that was hard to forget,” Middleton said, recalling the 47-12 loss in 2014. “I just want the kids to propel from this victory … just do the fundamentals, make the blocks, run the plays at 100 percent and things will happen.”