Fitzgerald, Irwin County take their rivalry to region 2-AA - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fitzgerald, Irwin County take their rivalry to region 2-AA

August 11, 2004

Undated - There were no need for introductions when Robby Pruitt was re-hired at Fitzgerald just one year after leaving for Warner Robins.

Fitzgerald fans are excited to have Pruitt back after he posted a 33-4-1 record in three seasons with the Purple Hurricanes.

One of the first matters of business Pruitt will address in the preseason is naming a starting quarterback.

Right now it's a three man race between Justin Newell, Blake Henderson and Josh Battle.

And whoever wins that job will have two talented running backs to hand off to in senior Fabian Daniel and junior Jonathan Roberts.

Robby Pruitt said "Defensively, we like our defensive front and our linebackers are pretty much intact from the last couple of years so on that side of the ball we have to find a couple of defensive backs."

Fitzgerald returns five starters on offense and six more on defense, including senior defensive tackle Rodney Milsap who's excited about the Canes chances this year.

Milsap said "15 and 0. I am going to have a ring on my finger. The next time you see me I am going to be like this (pointing to ring finger)."

Fabian Daniels said "The biggest goal we are trying to do is win the region championship. That is the biggest goal this year."

The Irwin County Indians have been one of the top teams in region 2-AA over the last several seasons and that doesn't look like it will change this year.

Head coach Jute Wilson returns just four starters on offense and defense but one of those starters is fullback Charvarious Carlton who was a 1,000 yard rusher last year.

The Indians also return wingback Pat Florence and several linemen while there is a battle quarterback between Drew Tankersley and William Mizell who came out for football after transferring from Coffee High.

Over on defense, Irwin County has a new defensive coordinator in David Boland and Boland's boss believes the Indian defense can be very strong even with so many new starters.

Jute Wilson said "I was real pleased with the way the guys flew around last week in the Cook County game. We just have to fix a few assignments and I think we will be pretty solid over there."

Fitzgerald and Irwin County usually settle their annual bragging rights early in the season but now that they are region rivals their game this year is the final week of the regular season.

And both teams hope it will be for the region 2-AA championship.

posted at 11:55pm by roberth@walb.com

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