Podcast: Fitzgerald Football's Purple Perfection
This week on the "Football Fridays in Georgia" podcast, hosts Hannah Goodin and Jon Nelson catch up with Tucker Pruitt, the head football coach of Fitzgerald High School's Purple Hurricane. They discuss one of the toughest regions in the state, and what football means to Fitzgerald.
Jon Nelson: Welcome to another edition of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at Georgia Public Broadcasting. Thanks for accessing us however you are doing so: large device or small, mobile or otherwise, your favorite podcatcher — and there's like eleventy billion of those. The GPB Sports app, GPB.org in the sports section every single week. Hannah, good to see you again.
Hannah Goodin: Great to see you. Happy Week 9, everybody.
Jon Nelson: How was Halloween?
Hannah Goodin: Halloween was good. So, we left a big tub of candy on the front door.
Jon Nelson: That sounds dangerous.
Hannah Goodin: We went trick or treating with some of our friends who have kids. And that was so cute.
Jon Nelson: Now did you dress up for Halloween or did you just go?
Hannah Goodin: I dressed up, which I will say —
Jon Nelson: What did you dress up as?
Hannah Goodin: Well, my dog was part of my costume. So I was a Starbucks barista. And my dog was a pumpkin spice latte. Don't judge me, everybody, I know, I know, super basic.
Jon Nelson: Now, are there — are there pictures of this where we can see what it looks like?
Hannah Goodin: There are — there's a picture on my Instagram.
Jon Nelson: OK.
Hannah Goodin: My dog was so cute. I basically bought the costume for him and I just dressed up.
Jon Nelson: OK, I see how this works.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, but I have a funny story about Halloween.
Jon Nelson: So what's your funny story about Halloween?
Hannah Goodin: We — we put this candy out in the bowl and we did it in baggies this year. So you didn't have to reach in where everybody else was touching for COVID reasons. So we individually baggied the candy and we weren’t home. So we were watching the Ring, our doorbell, to see the cute trick-or-treaters. Well, there were a few, Jon, that covered up the camera with their hand, took about five baggies, and ran! I can't believe it!
Jon Nelson: So can you go back into the neighborhood and identify who the kids were?
Hannah Goodin: I mean, you can download and post the video.
Jon Nelson: Hey, Justice League, we know who you are and you took five bags of candy. We know this. We're saving this for future reference.
Hannah Goodin: Be like, Halloween night at 8:31, the Spider-Man. I don't know how you find them, but you know, I hope they enjoy.
Jon Nelson: Just canvas the neighborhood. Do you have like a homeowner's association email chain? So like on the bulletin board: "OK, which one of you kids was wearing Spider-Man?"
Hannah Goodin: Jon, I am not ruining Halloween.
Jon Nelson: It's passed. You can't ruin it.
Hannah Goodin: You know, we have other people from other neighborhoods, though, that, you know, pull up and drive around and trick-or-treat. So it could have been anyone.
Jon Nelson: Do you — do you have any candy left over, I guess is the most important question.
Hannah Goodin: No.
Jon Nelson: What?
Hannah Goodin: They were dry. They took it all.
Jon Nelson: So the kids, when they took the five baggies….
Hannah Goodin: We had about 50 baggies ready.
Jon Nelson: And so you had all these kids come and take five instead of taking one. And that's why you don't have any that you can enjoy yourself here in the month of November.
Hannah Goodin: I plan on hitting up those Halloween candy sales.
Jon Nelson: I could see that. All right, so best Halloween candy for you.
Hannah Goodin: I'm a Laffy Taffy gal. Laffy Taffy strawberry flavor is my favorite candy.
Jon Nelson: What's the worst? How about the generically wrapped, generic butterscotch that's either in the black wrapper — the black wax wrapper, the orange wax wrapper or the white wax wrapper. And it's just like that big chunk of butterscotch. And you can get like 700 of them for like four dollars.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I don't mind butterscotch because my grandfather ate it all the time.
Jon Nelson: Well, did he eat butterscotch or, like, the Werther's?
Hannah Goodin: The hard ones, yeah the Werther’s.
Jon Nelson: Oh yeah. Okay. For me, it is without a doubt, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
Hannah Goodin: What?
Jon Nelson: Oh yeah.
Hannah Goodin: What?
Jon Nelson: You can't be surprised by that.
Hannah Goodin: I am surprised.
Jon Nelson: What? Yeah, Reese's for me is the one that really — it's like — oh, get this. The boss, she went to the grocery store the other day. And so she decided, okay, it's that time where — oh there's a, there's a bag of Reese's. And she says, look in the freezer. When I got home Sunday, she goes, “Look in the freezer.” And so I open the freezer door and there's this big bag of Reese's there. And I'm like, oh, yeah, that's gonna last about two days. So yeah, Reese’s for me, that — that's the big one. But yeah, for anybody listening, let us know what your favorite Halloween candy is and your least favorite Halloween candy. Let us know what those are.
Hannah Goodin: Did you say what your favorite was?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, Reese's.
Hannah Goodin: Oh!
Jon Nelson: Yeah. Reese's is my favorite.
Hannah Goodin: Oh!
Jon Nelson: Without question. It is unparalleled.
Hannah Goodin: I thought you said that was your least favorite!
Jon Nelson: No no no no!
Hannah Goodin: Okay, I got confused.
Jon Nelson: No my favorite one, without a doubt, is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and the worst one. Yeah. It's that generic big butterscotch thing, something like that.
Hannah Goodin: Okay, got it, got it.
Jon Nelson: What’s the most underrated Halloween candy for you?
Hannah Goodin: Hmm, these are hard questions I did not know I was going to be asked today. Underrated candy… This could be controversial, maybe Nerds. I like a Nerd. You know, I like a — like a — like a Nerd every once in a while.
Jon Nelson: Yeah?
Hannah Goodin: So. That’s all I got.
Jon Nelson: OK. So that's all you got. All right. So —
Hannah Goodin: We hope everybody had a great Halloween.
Jon Nelson: That, too. So you want to talk a little football?
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, you know. Is that why we're here?
Jon Nelson: It's the Halloween Candies on Friday Podcast. That's why we're here.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, I didn't know that. I just got confused. I've been eating too much candy.
Jon Nelson: All right. So Week 8, what were some of your highlights?
Hannah Goodin: All right. All right, let's take a look back to our game: the Football Friday in Georgia game. You were at the Hill for a Region 8-AAAAAAA battle between No. 7 North Gwinnett and Collins Hill. The Eagles started showing out early in the game. Quarterback Ryan Horn, Jon, he was outstanding: 18 of 35 passing for 345 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Collins Hill offense only rushed 17 times because Horn was so on point.
Jon Nelson: Well when you don't have to, why should you?
Hannah Goodin: And why would you? Because he connected with wide receiver Travis Hunter for two touchdowns. Sean Norris also scored three receptions. Final score in that one: 42 to 21. Collins Hill looked good, I was impressed.
Jon Nelson: Well, with Lenny Gregory when we caught up with him in the postgame, when he mentioned when he was looking at North Gwinnett on film and noticed that they were bringing a lot of folks and putting a lot of pressure on the offensive line, on the quarterback. Naturally, you're going to have that gap of space, you know, right there behind the defensive line and in front of the linebackers and then the secondary. And so you saw drag routes, you saw slants, you saw screens, you saw little — little dumpoffs and checkoffs. And that got a lot of chunk plays for Collins Hill. And it was a — it was a really — it was a great effort for them. Great scouting by Collins Hill. And it was great to go to the Hill because it was the first time that we've been there for a Football Fridays in Georgia broadcast. It was good to see everybody there in Suwanee. Had about a little over a thousand folks there, socially distanced, masks and all that stuff for protocols coming into the stadium, for being on campus. But it was good to see. It was — it was a signature win for Collins Hill this season. Puts them in the driver's seat in region play.
Hannah Goodin: Horn almost had 250 yards passing in the first half alone. Besides him, was there any other players that stood out to you on either team that impressed you?
Jon Nelson: Well, I mean, you look at — I mean, obviously, Travis Hunter was a part of it. And you look at Sam Horn. And I think that Sam might be getting a “Make that Kid a Better Offer” as a part of it. But it was a stellar effort by Hunter on offense and defense and to see what Collins Hill has been able to build defensively. I think it's been — it's been really cool to see. And, you know, right now with that — that kind of a big win; remember, this game was 7-7, second quarter.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah.
Jon Nelson: And then Collins Hill put the pedal down; you know, five TDs and Sean Norris had 6 for 129 and 3. And so, I mean, it was a great effort for them to take advantage of what they saw on film with North Gwinnett and Collins Hill got the duke, and that means that they are now 6 and 2.
Hannah Goodin: What else was going on at the Hill? I know it was Senior Night.
Jon Nelson: It was. It was a Senior Night and Senior Band night. And so the seniors — Senior band was recognized and it was — it was really cool to see all of that. And they also had a fundraiser for a former player, and he was a running back turned linebacker who was supposed to start at New Mexico Military Institute. And they had a fundraiser there and they presented the money to the family to help out with acute myeloid leukemia, I believe. And so Bryson is suffering from AML right now. And so the family was there to get the fundraiser. They had bracelets that were part of the on-campus sale. So it was a really cool night.
Hannah Goodin: Great story. Yeah. You shared that on the broadcast; that was good reporting, Jon.
Jon Nelson: All right. What else around the state stuck with you last week?
Hannah Goodin: Well, Collins Hill moves to 6 and 2. They will play Mountain View on Friday. North Gwinnett is now 6 and 3. They will face Peachtree Ridge. All right, let's do a whip around. In Region 1-AAAAA, No. 3 Warner Robins defeated No. 1 Ware County, 22-19. The Demons drove 89 yards on 13 plays for the winning touchdown, which was a 1-yard run by Ahmaud Walker in the final two minutes. Jalen Addie was 14 of 22, passing for 173 yards and rushed for 121 yards on 21 carries. Great night for the Demons. In that same region, No. 3 Colquitt beat Camden County 34 to 13 to go 5 and 0, undefeated on the season. Xavier Williams was 10 of 16 passing for 140 yards and rushed for 159 yards with touchdown runs of 59 and 71 yards. In Region 1-AAAAAA, No. 1 Lee County defeated No. 10 Houston County, 27-6. Preston Simmons rushed for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns on 14 carries in that one. And in Region 5-AAA, GAC beat Sandy Creek 21-12. Will Hardy had two TD receptions, an interception, and a fumble recovery with both —
Jon Nelson: Is that all?
Hannah Goodin: Oh I know! With both turnovers in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. OK, I have one more game.
Jon Nelson: OK, one more game. You’re allowed!
Hannah Goodin: All right! And all eyes were on No. 5 Parkview versus No. 1 Grayson in Loganville, Jon, where quarterback Jake Garcia made his debut to lead the Rams to a 47-7 victory. Garcia was 4 of 11, passing for 179 yards and a touchdown. Phil Mafah also rushed for 144 yards and two scores. Quick fact, I got this from the GHSF Daily: It was Parkview’s most lopsided loss since 1984. Sorry for those Panther fans out there. You can watch Garcia in action on GPB this Friday, Jon. We will preview that in just a bit. But what were your thoughts on Garcia starting on Friday?
Jon Nelson: I mean, we kind of knew where it was headed, wasn’t it?
Hannah Goodin: I mean, I did.
Jon Nelson: Yeah. I mean, we kind of figured that as soon as he was eligible — as soon as they could come up with a package that had him comfortable behind center, that he was gonna be out there for it. But national spotlight, and that's what that national network was looking for. And they certainly got it with Grayson.
Hannah Goodin: Was it a Rush Propst “told you so” moment?
Jon Nelson: Well, I mean, it's — I think that it's what everyone was anticipating when it came to Jake Garcia with what — wherever he was going to go. Whether it was Valdosta, whether it was Grayson, wherever, when he was transferring out of the CIF, that that was what you were looking for in Jake Garcia. I still think — I still think that this is an open audition for him for schools east of the Mississippi. Miami of Florida was interested in him. And, you know, when you can come to this side of the Mississippi and get an audition, I still think that this gives Miami a chance because, I mean, Southern Cal is finally having football. The PAC 12 is now back. But right now he's headed to Southern Cal. But I think that this gives a chance for East Coast schools to sit there and look.
Hannah Goodin: What about the SEC? Anyone in the SEC?
Jon Nelson: Oh. You know —
Hannah Goodin: Everyone?
Jon Nelson: Everyone, everyone.
Hannah Goodin: What games did you have your eye on, Jon?
Jon Nelson: All of the above? No, I had obviously with your five, I'll give you another seven or eight. I'll give you a Lowndes and Tift. Tift kind of caught Lowndes a bit by surprise — caught the state by surprise, really, with the 13-nothing lead early on. But then you had 17 points for Lowndes. So they come back for the win. Valdosta, Northside Warner Robins. They're doing it with defense right now. It is — 14-nothing was the final there with Valdosta and Northside. Richmond Hill and Brunswick, two schools down on the coast. Richmond Hill continues to get the duke there. Matt LeZotte’s doing some fantastic things. Coffee and Wayne, in their region of doom, Coffee got the big win there. Thomasville and Cook, Thomasville puts up a big number with a lot of folks looking at Region 1-AA. Northeast Macon and Bleckley, a game that you were keeping an eye on because of Big Mims. I know that now that Sean’s told me I have to back away from the microphone, it’s like Big Mims, Amarius Mims. Thursday night, Northeast Macon, they're for real and it's, you know, 37-34 win over Bleckley County. So that puts them in the driver's seat. Metter knocked off MCA when it comes to life in Single A. Metter right now, top in Single A-Public and then Fitzgerald and Worth County. And the reason that I say that is because guess who our guest is this week?
Hannah Goodin: Who?
Jon Nelson: It's Tucker Pruitt, head coach of the Fitzgerald Purple Hurricane. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna catch up with Tucker and find out what it's like to be the first 8-win team this season in Georgia high school football.
Tucker Pruitt: Oh, well, it's been good. You know, I really wouldn't have thought we'd be 8 and 0 when we put this schedule together. But our kids have played a little better than I think a lot of people expected. And they've hit some — some adversity along the way and handled it well and just kind of found a way to get better each week. And we're excited to be where we're at but we also understand in the big scheme of things that it isn’t a region championship that's not a state championship. And so there's still a lot left in front of us to be excited about.
Hannah Goodin: Coach, I have a really important question for you. What were you for Halloween?
Tucker Pruitt: I was a football coach up here working and watching film. But I did get to go out on the golf cart with my little girl, my in-laws, and she was Cinderella. So I just went as Dad and she had a good time. And so it was good to get to spend some time with them. But for most of the day, I was just a football coach and let her kind of have the show.
Hannah Goodin: Oh, that's fun. Well, you got to 8 and 0 by beating Worth County 55-7; you had 496 total yards of offense. Some of your playmakers, quarterback Rashad Davis, running backs Mario Clark and Denorris Goodwin — talk about them and what they mean to the team.
Tucker Pruitt: They had really good games. And, you know, I think even prior to talking about those guys, I need to talk about our offensive line because some of those holes that they were able to run through, I think I could've scored on. And so we've got a really good offensive line. They're playing really well, four of the five are returning starters. And so we really knew that we would need them to play well for us to be successful and they have. And Coach Rodgers has done a really good job with that group, and they're getting better every week. Denorris had a really good game. I think he had two touches and two touchdowns. And so we've got to find a way to give him the ball more. He's been injured in previous weeks, but played really well. And then Mario's kind of been a constant for us the last year or two years. He's always a guy that can total 20, 25 times a game. He falls forward and gets stronger as the game goes on. And then Rashad is kind of our quarterback and our captain and the leader that gets everybody the ball and does all the communicating and gets us set on offense. And so those guys are really key and pivotal for our offense and our whole team, and we just kind of hope that they can continue to play well.
Jon Nelson: A lot of folks don't necessarily know Region 1-AA and how tough it is. And, you know, you've got Thomasville coming up this week and we all know what Zach does and what he's been able to do with his time at the ball with the Bulldogs. For those who haven't been able to see your region, just in general over the last couple of years, how tough is that region to play in?
Tucker Pruitt: I think it's really tough. You know, all the teams are really good and they got all-season programs, and they got good weight rooms and good facilities, and good coaching staffs and, you know, it's just football is important down here, and so all of those teams are capable of beating you if you don't have a good week of practice and you don't show up and play your best game. And we're fortunate to be where we're at right now but we've still got two big tests coming up with Thomasville and Cook.
Hannah Goodin: You're a legacy at Fitzgerald. You played quarterback there under your dad. What was that like? And now what is it like to coach where you played in high school?
Tucker Pruitt: Well, it was awesome to play. And we were a Wing-T team and I was a quarterback. We had some really good teams here. You know, I didn't get to throw it a whole lot just with our offense, but it was some — some of the best years of my life. We had a pretty good team. I think my first year we'd lost the state championship game and my second year, we lost in the Dome. And so a lot of good memories here with our teammates and coaches. And just to be able to come back here and still be chasing the same thing that we were all chasing back when I played here, that elusive state championship, just to be able to come back and coach in a place where I'm familiar and with a lot of people in the community that I know, and to still be having the same chase, you know, this much later is really neat and unique, and I'm really fortunate to be where I'm at.
Jon Nelson: I asked you about Region 1-AA, but let me ask you about Fitzgerald. I mean, from all the time that we've known each other, I know the answer to this question. But once again, for those that don't have the chance to go see a game at JAC, don't get the chance to see what's going on with region play and all that kind of stuff. What does football mean to Fitzgerald?
Tucker Pruitt: Well, you know, there's not a whole lot going on here in Fitzgerald, and so it's kind of the heartbeat of our community. It’s what our kids are passionate about growing up and it's what the families love. And then on Friday night, they're gonna come to the ballgame, and it's just kind of the thing that everybody can kind of unify with and all support and be in together. And so I think our schools are a better place, our community is a better place when we’re winning. Everybody’s real happy right now and we're just trying to keep it rolling.
Hannah Goodin: We mentioned some of your playmakers. What about a kid that's maybe underrated? We do this thing on Recruiting 2020 where we “Make that Kid an Offer.” Is there a — a player on your team that you think more schools should be looking at?
Tucker Pruitt: Well, yeah, I could go to bat for a lot of my players. I'll tell you this: We've got one guy that's played really, really well this year that is only a junior, but he's going to be getting some big-time offers when these schools come around. His name's E.J. Lightsey. He's a linebacker for us and he was an all-region defensive end last year, as a sophomore. And just out of some depth and some necessity, we had to work him as a linebacker and he's kind of just come on the scenes and really over exceeded our expectations. I think he had 11 tackles in the first game and 14 tackles in the second game. And he's a guy that's about 6’2”, 200 pounds and he can really run sideline to sideline. He's been having a great season for us so far and I think he'll continue to play that way, there's going to be a lot of schools that will take notice.
Jon Nelson: You mentioned you've got two — you get two games left here in the season. What do you think you need to work on as a team right now?
Tucker Pruitt: I just think we've got to work on staying humble and hungry and sticking to what it is that's made us successful this year. You know, we've been fortunate enough to experience some success and to beat some good teams. And we got a lot of people right now telling our kids how good they are. And I think that's my job as the coach just to make sure we're staying in a blue-collar mindset and a blue-collar mentality. I want them to be confident. I want them to think we're gonna win the region and the state championship. But also warm to earn it and understand that nobody’s gonna give us anything. And what we've been doing is working. And so we can't let any success change us.
Hannah Goodin: This Friday, you play at Thomasville; they're 5 and 3. Preview that game and what's it going to take to beat them to go 9 and 0 on the air?
Tucker Pruitt: Well, you can throw the records out the window when Fitzgerald and Thomasville get together. They're 5 and 3, but they've lost three really good teams in Oconee County, Brooks County, and their other loss was to Bainbridge. And so they've really beaten some really good teams in Thomas County Central and Cairo. And so the thing I see when I look at them is it's kind of like looking in the mirror. I mean, they've got a really good team. They've got a really good program. They've got a lot of support. I think Coach Grage and his staff do a really good job, they always got their kids playing hard and they got a good plan. And so it's a tough place to go play, you know, at Thomasville. And then they've got a really good team. And I feel like over the last couple of films are really getting better and jelling right now and playing some good football, and certainly with the schedule they played, they've been battle-tested. So they're not gonna be afraid of us and it ought to be a war.
Jon Nelson: All right. So last question for you — and thanks for hanging out with us this week here on the show. Hannah had the really insightful question early on, asking him about Halloween. So let me follow up on that question: What is your favorite Halloween candy and what is your least favorite Halloween candy?
Hannah Goodin: This is a hard one.
Tucker Pruitt: Oooh the favorite’s easy. I’m not— I like those Now & Laters.
Hannah Goodin: See, I like those, too.
Tucker Pruitt: Those chewy Now & Laters those are my favorites. And I guess, you know, the cotton candy are — What are they — the candy corns?
Jon Nelson: Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no.
Tucker Pruitt: Yeah. Never really gotten into those. So I would say, I would say Now & Laters are the favorite and candy corn, the least favorite.
Jon Nelson: And you know — and, you know, now that they've started Thanksgiving food flavored candy corn.
Tucker Pruitt: Wow. Well, I haven't had that one now. I can't — I can’t —
Hannah Goodin: That sounds horrible.
Jon Nelson: I'm not going to touch that one either. I mean, I'm — I'm in total agreement with you, Tucker, that I can't get within 10 yards of candy corn. But now that they've started doing the Thanksgiving food flavored candy corn, I can't get it within 20 miles of candy corn. That's just eeeeee.
Hannah Goodin: No, done with that.
Tucker Pruitt: I'm with you.
Hannah Goodin: You just ruined my day. I'm done.
Jon Nelson: She's deceased. Tucker, thanks, as always, for being a great sport with all these questions that don't have anything to do with football. And thanks for being a part of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast.
Tucker Pruitt: Yeah, I appreciate you having me, man, and appreciate all y'all do for football in our great state, man. Appreciate you.
Hannah Goodin: Thank you, Coach.
Tucker Pruitt: Bye-bye.
Jon Nelson: It's always good to catch up with Tucker on a couple of different topics, and it was — it was — it was wild when I was doing the research that they were the first 8-win team, that kind of blew me away, that they've had the chance with all of their protocols in place that they've done every single week, that they have been able to do the eight game auditions so far. Audition Week 1 gets you to Week 2 gets you to Week 3. And they've been able to do it successfully for the first eight times this season.
Hannah Goodin: So they haven't missed a game for anything.
Jon Nelson: I mean, they had — they had some — some swaps where — they haven't missed a week. Let's put it that way. They haven't missed a week to where they could play a game. They had one where, I want to say it was Dooly County had to cancel because of COVID concerns. And so they put it out there. It's like, "OK, looking for a game." And they got a game with Jefferson County and they had to travel from Fitzgerald to Louisville on the hop. And it's like, okay, so we're not going to — we're not going to Vienna. We're gonna go to Louisville. And it had been a couple of years since they'd played them in the playoffs. But that's the kind of stuff we've been talking about all season long. Sometimes you just have to kind of sit there on the fly and it's like, "OK, you know, we'll figure it out." And they've been able to do that. So they've had a couple of swaps, but they've been doing it all right.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I mean, here at GPB, we've had to make some swaps. Some of our games have not been the first choice that we wanted. So hopefully this Friday we can keep our game.
Jon Nelson: Yes. And it's gonna be a good one, obviously, you know, with what Grayson was able to do on a national stage last week to Parkview now that — now they're going to be going up against Brookwood. Brookwood and Grayson, I mean, two great teams. Obviously, the concern about Dylan Lonergan, a quarterback who was injured in the first half for Brookwood and did not return. So that's one of the things that Coach Jones is going to be looking at this week when it comes to Brookwood and how they're going to attack a very, very talented Grayson team. And it is stacked and it's going to be a fun one to catch up to see everybody at Brookwood Community this week.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, that's our Football Friday on Georgia game of the week. The Rams remain No. 1 in the GPB sports rankings after going 7 and 0 with that one over Parkview we mentioned earlier in the show. The biggest question in this one, Jon, is can Brookwood stop Jake Garcia and Phil Mafah?
Jon Nelson: Yeah, I mean, it's — it's going to be — it's going to be a rough and tumble game, and I'm looking forward to it. You've also got Colquitt and Lowndes this week. That's another one on the board for me, that now that region — now that region 1-AAAAAAA is on the board, you're looking at them. And now after Colquitt knocked off Camden last week, now you've got Lowndes traveling to Moultrie, you know. 45 minutes, it's one road and that two lane road is going to be stacked. And that is going to be — I mean, that's going to be a great atmosphere for a game for anybody who can get in to go see that one down the hog pen this weekend.
Hannah Goodin: Milton had a change too: They are now playing on this Saturday instead of Friday.
Jon Nelson: Right. Lee County is hosting Northside Warner Robins in region play. Buford is at Lanier this week. Valdosta is at Houston County. And so that's another big region game. Will Valdosta continue to do it on defense? And so, you know, right now, Amari Jones, 11 to 22 for 161, ran for another 50. But right now, clamping down on defense. And I will always maintain that when it comes to halftime adjustments, Rush Propst is one of the best — he and his staff, one of the best staffs at halftime adjustments that you'll see. And so, I mean, that's another one. You've got Richmond Hill at Glen Academy. That's going to be another great game. This Friday, as you and I are talking, one of the most underrated stories that we have this year, River Ridge 7 and 0, ranked for the first time since the school opened eleven years ago. And so good stuff for River Ridge knocking off Centennial. They've got Sequoia. So it looks like River Ridge might — they're leaning toward 8 and 0. I mean 8 and 0 out of the blocks, you know that's good for them. You mentioned Warner Robins. Warner Robins now gets Wayne County this week. Wayne County's playing their ninth game of the year this week, as will Fitzgerald. So I mean it's — you've got a lot of great games across the board. We'll let you know what's going on with all of those games. And it's gonna be fun to recap all of them again next week. But that's just a small sample of everything that's going on. Jones County knocked off undefeated Ola last week down in Gray. So the Greyhounds — that was that was another good win for them. But there's a lot of good stuff going on now that region play — We welcome everyone to region play. I feel like Mr. Roarke on Fantasy Island: Smiles, everyone, smiles. We're now all in region play. And so now we have three weeks left in the regular season, that I can't believe.
Hannah Goodin: Wow. How is that possible?
Jon Nelson: Because, I mean, we literally started — I — it — strange — I know, that we pushed the schedule back and everything, but there's — just that we got to this point, it's just wild. We all — we want to know for those of you who are listening, who's your team, who they’re playing, what happened last week, what are you looking forward to with the team? What do you think about region play? Let us know what you're thinking about your favorite team. You can do that a bunch of different ways. You can reach out to us on, let’s see: It's the blue bird —
Hannah Goodin: Twitter.
Jon Nelson: It's the pink camera.
Hannah Goodin: Instagram.
Jon Nelson: It is the blue square with the white letter in it.
Hannah Goodin: Facebook.
Jon Nelson: And then the red rectangle with the white play button.
Hannah Goodin: YouTube.
Jon Nelson: So all of those you can like, friend, be a part of the conversation, subscribe, and you can let us know what you're going on. Oh, we got some news about Countdown to Kickoff, too.
Hannah Goodin: Yeah, I was going to say the best way to contact us is on Countdown to Kickoff every Wednesday on GPB Sports Facebook Live. We're changing the time from noon to 5:00. So starting this Wednesday, November the 4th, we will be going live at five o'clock. And we take live questions and comments. So just get in the comment section and have fun with us. We've got some regulars. We're changing the time just because people have asked, you know, just changing things up, seeing how five o'clock goes rather than the lunch hour. We asked — we ask what's for — what's for lunch? What are you eating for lunch on the show? And now we're going to ask what's for dinner?
Jon Nelson: What's for dinner?
Hannah Goodin: I'm excited to see how the new time works.
Jon Nelson: Yeah, I am, too.
Hannah Goodin: We’ve had folks ask us for a more lenient time.
Jon Nelson: So we've got that.
Hannah Goodin: We've got Recruiting 2020. That'll be on Friday night before football. Friday's in Georgia. A lot of big news there as well.
Jon Nelson: So it's a stacked — it's a stacked week for us at Georgia Public Broadcasting. We want to thank you for hanging out with us for another round of the Football Fridays in Georgia podcast here at GPB. For the irreplaceable and award-winning producer Sean Powers and for Hannah Goodin —
Hannah Goodin: — and the award-winning co-host, Jon Nelson, everybody!
Jon Nelson: Play it safe, everybody. We'll see you next week.
Transcript by Eva Rothenberg