OCILLA, Ga. (WALB) - The Fitzgerald and Irwin County rivalry always brings a great game and some big plays.
But this years game of the week, goes way beyond the X’s and O’s.
Friday night’s game holds a much deeper meaning, because they honored Irwin’s Head Coach who unfortunately has recently been diagnosed with stage four stomach cancer.
By kick off these stands were filled with fans wearing red and white to honor Buddy Nobles.
And despite this battle, he seems to be in high spirits and tells me his focus on Friday night’s game.
Which is why they’re our Game of the Week.
Nobles tells me when that first whistle sounds... this deep seeded rivalry is back on.
In their 65 match-ups Fitzgerald holds the record 44-18.
However, Irwin won for the first time since 1999, last season.
A new streak they hope to extend, tonight at home.
“So, it’s really a big game but it’s such a big game for people in Ocilla, they get so jacked up. And it’s a big game for people in Fitzgerald and we’re glad we have it at our place this year," said Nobles.
“There’s going to be a lot of fans there on both sides so it outta be an electric environment. We’re gonna go be excited and I know our kids are excited, our fans are excited and if it’s an away game being nine miles that ain’t too bad," said Fitzgerald Head Coach Tucker Pruitt.
Tucker Pruitt told us they’re a team that travels well and being just 20 minutes from Ocilla, it very well could feel like a home game.