There is only one way to top winning the first football game in program history — win the next game.
That is what First Presbyterian Christian Academy will attempt Friday when it hosts the Southwest Georgia Academy Warriors at 7:30 p.m. at Long Bell Stadium.
The Warriors are led by quarterback Quinn Laguardia, who is 41-for-78 passing for 578 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions.
Leading the offensive charge for the FPCA team is all-around athlete Dylan Stewart. The sophomore quarterback, running back, kick-return specialist and defensive back has tossed a touchdown pass, returned a kickoff for 81 yards and a touchdown, led the team in rushing and deflected three passes. When Stewart sat out, junior quarterback Bolden Crane stepped in and didn’t miss a beat, tossing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Michael Burnett in the corner of the end zone.
Burnett was responsible for two of the three Highlander touchdowns last Friday, and Stewart had the other one.
When the pass was not an option, the Highlanders looked to the quick legs of junior running back Jimmy Ouyang. He powered forward regularly last week, setting up FPCA within reach of the end zone.
The Highlander defense will need to stop the Warriors’ running game. SGA has rushed the ball for 729 total yards in its last five games. Stephen Jackson leads the team with 274 yards on 30 carries, while Perry Bridges has 230 yards on 59 carries.
Austin Hednrix leads the Highlander defense in tackles and sacks per game. Last week, linebacker Frederick Heaggans made a huge sack against Crisp Academy for a 12-yard loss. Joshua Armour, Crane, Burnett and Isiah Dickey have played well in covering the perimeter. Jordan Gilliard, Dylan Bradham, Steven Harris, Eddie Holsey, Justus Appel, Nasmeek Murohy, Jamison Golson and Brantley McCorkle have protected and blocked well and created holes for their running backs. Those same players have closed the run and made big tackles on defense.
The Warriors are 1-5 overall. FPCA is 1-4 overall and will start Georgia Independent School Association Region 2-AA play next week by hosting last year’s state champions, Memorial Day.