FITZGERALD, Ga. (WALB) - The 2020 Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane are the second team in program history to reach the title game as an undefeated team.
Next Tuesday, the Canes have the chance to make history and end a long drought in Ben Hill County.
Head Coach Tucker Pruitt said, “The kids are excited; we have the chance to finish the season the way we wanted to and do something that hasn’t been done around here in 72 years. So, everyone is really excited about the opportunity and really focused on finishing.”
The Hurricanes lone state title dates to 1948.
Since there’s been a handful of final appearances, but no team has been able to secure the state championship trophy again.
The Canes will be put to the test Tuesday when they take on 11-1 Callaway.
Tucker added: “It’s going to be a battle; it’s going to be 48 minutes of good versus good just as you’d imagine a state championship would be. And somehow, someway we have to find a way to win it.”
For the Canes defense, pressuring the Cavaliers quarterback is key.
Demetrius Coleman has over 1,100 passing yards, Todkevious Wallace told me they’ll have to limit those big plays as much as possible.
“We need to make explosive plays, can’t let them pick the ball. You know they got some good athletes back there and we just gotta run the ball like we do,” said Wallace.
To make sure Fitzgerald maintains its success in the run game, Rajon Deese said it starts with blocking.
“First, we gotta block that’s for one thing. And second, we gotta execute like you said, we need to execute as much as possible. Make sure we do the right thing, keep the ball moving and win the game,” said Deese.
In 2019, Callaway crushed Fitzgerald in the second round 50-31.
But Coach Tucker Pruitt said they can’t concern themselves with last year.
“We’re just trying to keep the main thing the main thing and keep our focus and preparation. And we know it’s the last week of the season, we played as long as we can play, and we’re just trying to have a great Monday and a great Tuesday and maximize every day we have together,” said Tucker.
The senior class getting its first and final shot at the title next Tuesday in Atlanta.
“This, this is special. This is really special. We worked really hard to get to this level. Day in and day out, at night, in the morning, six o’clock, like this is a special moment,” said Deese.
“It’s a great feeling, we just got to come out here and put one on for the city. Not too many teams from Fitzgerald went to state so it’s just a blessing,” said Wallace.
Fitzgerald and Callaway kick things off next Tuesday at 3:30.