Fitzgerald happy for another semifinal chance

Fitzgerald happy for another semifinal chance

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) - The Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane haven't played for a state championship since 2000.

They can end that drought with one more win Friday night against Jefferson Co.

The Canes stunned the state last week when they blew out the undefeated, defending state champs Benedictine in Savannah.

Head coach Jason Strickland says, while the win was great for this team and program, it has to be in the past.

"A lot of times, with the exception of the way you feel afterwards, a big win's a lot like a bad loss. You've got to put it behind you. You've got to move forward.," he says. "Once we got here Monday, it's obviously focusing on a really, really good Jefferson County team that we're playing in the semifinals, and the game against Benedictine last Friday is at this point a memory."

These Canes are just happy to get another shot at it. Fitzgerald's season came to a heartbreaking end in the state semis last year, when a Greater Atlanta Christian last-second field goal split the uprights to send the Spartans to the title game.

Strickland says he hopes his team realizes how blessed they are to get another chance.

"We're here with another opportunity," he says. "We hope that we can cash in on it because we just don't know how often we'll get back."

The players say last year's semifinal loss has pushed them during this playoff run.

"I don't really like losing. It was kind of hard for me. I cried after that game," admits junior fullback JD King. "I try to keep everybody's head up and stay focused and keep doing what we have to do to win, so we won't lose."

The Canes face off with Jefferson County Friday night in Louisville. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m.

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