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St. Joe prepares for playoff opener with Blountstown

Published: Nov. 10, 2020 at 9:11 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG) -There are 16 playoff games this week with area teams competing, and one of those games is the 1A region quarterfinal between Blountstown and Port St. Joe.

Let’s focus on the Tiger Sharks here, one of the very rare teams across the state that’s been able to get in ten games in the regular season. And the Sharks winning 8 of those games. However they’re coming off one of their two losses, a 39-7 defeat at Baker in the championship game of the Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs.

“We did some bad things, we had a lot of penalties in the first half that really got us out of our game plan and made us do some things that we haven’t been able to do, or haven’t tried to do.” Sharks head coach Tanner Jones told me Tuesday. “As far as running the ball that’s something that’s got us through some games. And I think we only ran it four times. They did a great job of loading the box on us, and when they did that we didn’t execute, offensively. Defensively we were in the right place a lot of the time we just didn’t execute the tackle, we didn’t finish it and Baker did a great job of both of those.”

So the mission this week in St. Joe, try to learn a few things from that loss, put it behind them and focus on a 3-3 Blountstown team. This being the playoffs now, well lose and you see your season end, and coach Jones says no coach, especially not he, wants to see that happen.

“If you win you get another week.” coach Jones said. “And every game you get is a blessing for these young men. So if anything else, we want to win so these kids can keep playing. They worked their tails....I know both sides have worked their tails off and they both deserve to continue to play. But no playing Blountstown in the first round is not the first one you want. But hopefully you’re gonna see them eventually anyways. So let’s go ahead and get it over with and we’ll find out who the man is.”

And coach Jones says he’s thrilled the Sharks are hosting this game.

“St. Joe’s a great place to play. From the time I was younger to now it’s always been great. And coming on the field on Friday nights, the grass looks good, the lines are popping, the crowd comes in, I mean it’s just a wonderful place to get to play on Friday nights. And we don’t have to get on the bus and travel. That’s gonna be nice as well.”

The Tigers are coming south after a 36-6 win at Graceville last week, before that, two weeks off because of COVID issues.

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