FPCA tricked David Emanuel Academy on Halloween and treated themselves to the Highlanders second win of the season. Friday’s 38-34 win earned FPCA their first playoff berth in school history.
When head coach Terry Middleton took over during the season he was able to lead the Highlanders to their first home win over Crisp Academy, 18-6, a couple of weeks ago.
“When I was given the opportunity to take over this program I came with a plan to change the atmosphere and we have started to do just that. The energy level has risen and we are seeing players have a want and desire to win and play good football, not just to play the game,” Middleton said.
FPCA fields only 18 players and three are injured, so the Highlanders have only 15 who can take the field.
The Highlanders traveled to Stillmore Friday to take on DEA with one goal, to defeat the Eagles and earn a berth in the GISA playoffs.
“We have a two-year plan in mind and specific goals that we want to accomplish. Being able to win our first game against Crisp at home was huge. After winning that game we knew that if we were somehow able to play well enough to defeat DEA we would have a chance to go to the playoffs, something FPCA hasn’t done in school history,” Middleton said.
FPCA lined up in a pro set and pounded the football against the Eagles in a high scoring game. And the Highlanders grabbed the lead late.
“We run some spread and other plays, but Friday we just lined up and ran the football,” Middleton said. “Our backs did a great job running and securing the football and also saw some good blocking from the offensive line. Quarterback Bolding Crane played outstanding for us. A highlight for him was being surprised by his father, who lives out of state, and got to see him play for the first time this season.”
Crane finished 13-22 for 216 yards. Dylan Stewart ran the ball 15 times for 173 yards.
The first round of the GISA playoffs start next Friday. FPCA will travel to Damascus, to take on Southwest Georgia Christian.
Southwest defeated the Highlanders earlier in the season, 47-12. It was a game that FPCA didn’t finish because of injuries. Middleton believes his squad is ready.
“We have shown a lot of heart and desire and are playing better football right now,” Middleton said. “I think that we will be ready to go play Southwest and compete against them. We only have two seniors right now on this team so the future looks really good for Highlander football.”