Chipley preps for 1A Region Final against defending 1A State Champions, the Baker Gators

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 9:23 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Coach Marcus Buchanan and his Chipley Tigers are coming off a second round playoff win Friday, a 42-13 victory against visiting Holmes.

That puts them into the 1A Region Finals, and that means a trip west to face Baker. The Gators at 7-2 and the defending 1A State Champs. The Tigers are now 8-3.

Safe to say it’s been an impressive first year for coach Buchanan at the helm there. These results may be surprising to some, but not to the first year coach.

“I knew when I took this job there was some talent here,” said Coach Buchanan. “So we knew we would be a playoff team. That was our goals, you know have a winning season, make the playoffs. So to answer your question honestly, yes I did expect this. The senior leadership I would say would be the strongest things. We’ve got 13 seniors, they’ve been here for four years. They work hard. You know we still lift weights twice a week, even during the season. We preach attendance, attendance has been good. And when something’s not right I tell the seniors, hey get it right.”

Coach adding they are in a different situation than in previous weeks.

“The big part of this year it’s been David vs. Goliath, we’ve been Goliath,” said Coach Buchanan. “Now, we get the chance to be David, we’re going to be the underdog in a situation like this. You know they’re the defending state champions, they don’t lose many games at home. They’ve lost six games at home the last decade. To my knowledge Chipley’s never beaten Baker in football. So we’ve got our hands full going into Baker, and to win football games. It’s probably everybody’s plan, few teams can go in there and pull it off. We feel like we’ve got a really good football team, we’ve got a really good shot. And it’s kind of our M.O. all year, we’re not backing down from anybody.”

That game is set for Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Baker. The winner will face the winner of the Madison County at Blountstown game in the 1A State Semifinal.

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