Tornadoes look to build on Week Six success

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 9:57 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The Bay football team hosted North Bay haven this past Friday night for week six of the high school season and left the field victorious after a thriller of a game that went into double overtime.

The Tornadoes faced some real adversity early in the season with their star quarterback Will Smiley tearing his ACL in week two, but this past week, the team seemed to be working things out with Cason Forehand looking a little more comfortable in the pocket and carries from some Friday night standouts like Mike Johnson!

The team ended the night with 218 yards on the ground, and Johnson was definitely a big factor in that number.

“It’s good to see those guys step up like that,” said Bay head coach, Keith Bland. “As the offense, we have to move the chains and get three first downs as a minimum. That’s what we shoot for every series. Therefore, we keep the defense off the field at times when we are going with a four-wide offense. You get three incompletions, and they’re back on the field in 30 seconds. That doesn’t help them at all, so it’s good to see their growth and development. They’re going to have a tough one this week with what Marianna does. Had a tough one two weeks ago with South Walton and the offense they do. It’s a completely different offense than what South Walton does, but they have to rise up.”

Coach Bland is pleased with the duality his offense is getting comfortable with.

“That’ll help us so much more because as we run the ball more, we will have more defenders in the box,” said Coach Bland. “We have to be able to throw to back them out a little bit, so they’ll feed off each other, how well we run it and how well we throw it. Very pleased with that. Mike had a great game. We’ve got some other great backs. We just have to keep the ball in different hands. I think we had seven to eight, eight different ball carriers the other night, other than Cason included, so that would be nine that touched the football, so that kind of helps spread it around and keeps the defense guessing.”

One thing Coach Bland says his team takes advantage of is their bond.

“These guys have been together since freshman {year}. We had to start them as freshman. When I walked down to the JV practice and worked with those kids, I said, ‘I cannot believe we started this level of athlete on a varsity level two years ago.’ It gives me more of an appreciation for what they went through. Since they have been together, even since middle school, almost all levels, it’s a close knit bond and we talk about working together in the weight room speaking with good purpose, lifting each other up with your words and being leaders.”

This Friday, the Tornadoes kickoff at Marianna at 7 p.m. Highlights will be on Friday Night Overtime on WJHG.

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