Blountstown and Port St. Joe set for Friday game
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -This week’s American Charlie Grill and Tavern High School Game of the Week has us focused on the game Friday between Blountstown and Port St. Joe. These two have played some great and meaningful games the last few decades. Like this one five years ago. And the rivalry has the intrigue of a coach who’s intermingled between both programs. Greg Jordan was first Blountstown’s coach, then in 2018 moved south to Port St. Joe. A few years later he’s made his way back to Blountstown where he has his team 4-1 and ready to go up against a 3-1 Sharks team. In speaking with coach Jordan he says he has great memories of this rivalry, and one in particular, this 2017 game when he was still at Blountstown, and the Tigers clawed their way to a 3-0 win and went on to play in the state title game that season.
“You know we beat them on a field goal.” says coach Jordan. “And that was one of those games that was the best 3-0 high school football game you could ever be a part of. And then to go down there and be the head coach of that storied program, with state championships in multiple sports, it gives you a different perspective for sure, to just go down there and be a part of that.”
Coach Tanner Jones a relative newcomer to this rivalry, but he gets it, he knows this is a big game with implications in terms of playoff seeding down the road. His Tiger Sharks 3-1 and coming off a relatively easy win over Rutherford last week. All in all the coach says he’s pleased with his team and especially with what they’re putting into this season.
“Their willingness to work.” says coach Jones. “Right now we’ve thrown a lot of stuff at them. They’re soaking it in, they’re working hard. We’ve had some ups and downs, I think with some injuries and other issues. And the guys are just kind of resilient. And keep on working. We’ve plugged some guys into places that they typically haven’t played. We’ve moved some younger guys up and put them in really important roles. And so far they’re stepping up to the challenge and making us really proud.”
Both coaches says what makes this game extra special, no matter where it’s played, is the atmosphere around it. This time around that atmosphere will be in St. Joe.
“It’s a community-wide event” says Jordan “and there will be a good crowd there on both sides. And that’s what makes this rivalry special, we will travel, they’ll have a good crowd and we have common respect for each of the opponents. And hopefully it will be a good ball game.”
“You have a lot of families that are from Blountstown, or from Port Saint Joe.” adds coach Jones. “You know you have cousins over there, you have uncles and aunts. The kids have grown up in the Jean Raffield leagues, played against each other. And so they know the guy there lined up across the bar from and have played against them since they were eight years old possibly.”
That game set for 7:30 eastern and is one of several we’ll feature on Friday Night Overtime.
The High School Game of the Week is sponsored by American Charlie Grill and Tavern, where we love food and we love our country!
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