Valdosta Daily Times

October 6, 2012

Fitzgerald hands Cook first loss, 21-15


The Valdosta Daily Times

FITZGERALD — In a battle of top-10 teams in the state of Georgia’s Class AA polls, the homestanding Fitzgerald Purple Hurricanes held off the Cook High Hornets, 21-15, Friday night.

On the first play from scrimmage in the game, Fitzgerald quarterback Romarius Gaulden electrified the home crowd with a 59-yard touchdown run.

 Manuel Chavez would add the extra point to give the Canes an early 7-0 lead.

With 2:02 left in the first, Gaulden would again break loose on a 30-yard touchdown run.

Cook would finally dent the scoreboard with 9:47 left in the second as quarterback Ross Pickle would hit Jeremy Walden on a 26-yard scoring pass. A try for two failed.

The Hornets would later get that two points back in an unusual way.

Fitzgerald held Cook on a goal line stand late in the first half. Back on their own half-yard line after holding the Hornets, Cook would make a tackle in the backfield to earn two points on a safety with 1:00 left in the first half.

In the third quarter, Fitzgerald’s Zeke Coley would intercept a pass by Pickle to give the Canes the ball. On the ensuing drive, Gaulden would reward Coley by throwing a 24-yard touchdown pass to him. After the kick, the score was 21-8 with 8:14 left in the third.

Cook would make a game of it late, as Pickle would score on a 6-yard run. However, Fitzgerald would hold on for the win.

Gaulden had a hand in all three scores for Fitzgerald. He also ran for 121 yards on 11 carries, while completing the scoring pass to Coley.

The Hurricanes will be right back in the fire next week when they travel to Quitman to face the Brooks County Trojans.