Fitzgerald’s football team looks to end 72 years drought without a state championship

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Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 11:29 PM EST
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FITZGERALD, Ga. (WALB) - The Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes look to break their championship drought after over 70 years.

Friday, the Canes are heading to Atlanta to face Thomasville in the class 2A state championship.

““We have been there before, a lot of our kids this year have played and we’re apart of that team last year, so we’ve been in that environment, we been on that stage, so hopefully the experience we gained from that will go well for us” said head football coach Tucker Pruitt.

The Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes have beaten three region champions on the road to make a return to the finals.

Defeating Swainsboro put them one step closer to reaching their ultimate goal of returning the title trophy to Fitzgerald for the first time since 1948.

Something that senior running back Denoris Goodwin has been preaching to his team.

“I just keep telling my guys, don’t get so caught up in all the stuff because it’s been forever since we won it, don’t get caught up, just stay focused on the game and let’s win the game for our city” said Goodwin.

The Canes and Bulldogs are region rivals and a little fun fact about this matchup is that the road team has been the winner between the two since 2018. Thomasville got the win on the road this year.

“We’re excited to be here and we understand Thomasville has a great team and program. Very well coached, very talented football team. Obviously we’re very familiar with each other, we already played each other this year and we’re region opponents and we play every year. So we got a lot of respect for them but we’re excited about the opportunity” said Pruitt.

The 12-2 Canes defense has been playing lights out by holding their opponents in the post season to less than 15 points a game.

Coach Pruitt is thrilled about his defense but he’s mindful about the Bulldog’s firepower on offense with guys like quarterback Shannen White and running back Malik Haper

“Well the thing is you got to stop both of them and it’s going to be difficult. They got a great scheme, great players, players that fit their scheme. They could burn you in a lot of different ways so, those two you mentioned, they got a couple of wideouts out wide that could get you as well. So we got a big challenge in front of us” said Pruitt.

A challenge that senior outside linebacker Jaden Stanley said the team has been working towards all year.

“We worked hard, it was always the goal to win this, and last year we came up short so this year we’re trying make sure we win it this year” said Stanley.

Kick off is slated for noon inside Center Parc Stadium on Friday.

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