Blountstown and St. Joe prepare for third meeting on the football field this season
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Our final American Charlie Grill and Tavern high school football Game of the Week has us focused on the round two state playoff game set for Port St. Joe between the host Tiger Sharks and Blountstown Tigers Friday. This will be the third meeting between these two teams. They split the first two match ups, with each winning on their home field. St. Joe winning this game in late September 24-6. The Tigers won on their home field a month l,ater 42-14. So this a rubber match. The Tigers coming off a first round playoff win at home over Wewa. As their region’s number two seed, the Sharks had a bye week, and here’s coach Jones talking to me about that.
“You never know with a bye week, I mean you’ve got to make that decision do you rest them up or do you get real physical with them? And I think we did a little bit of both. And then had that weather come in at the end of the week which definitely cost us a day. But I think we got to focus on ourselves a little bit. We got to go back and reflect, to see what we had trouble with throughout the year. We’ve been nine games without a bye week so it was kind of nice to have one.”
As for the Tigers, they’re 7-4 overall and again, one loss to St. Joe and one win over the Sharks. The latter coming near the end of October, so not long ago. That a 42-14 victory. After that, well as Blountstown head coach Greg Jordan puts it, things kind of fell into place for his Tigers heading into the postseason.
“We were waiting on the seeding to come out, we were open week 11, we had played 10 straight. So my message to the kids was that if we weren’t going to be the one seed, and we were the one in Max Preps, and the SSAC. But when the FHSAA come out we were the three seed. And I told them having had a week 11 open date, you know if we weren’t the one seed, the three seed is where we wanted to be even though it meant traveling in the second round. But we didn’t want to have two weeks off at the end of the regular season . So we were able to get on the field and we played well against we were in the first round.”
As for the rare occurrence of football teams playing for a third time in a single season, well that means the coaching staffs are familiar with each other’s schemes and tendencies. So how much will that weigh into game planning and possible changes in advance of Friday’s playoff game?
“Against us and them it’s like most football games it’s who wins at the line of scrimmage.” says coach Jordan. “You know I thought we played better on the fronts in the week 10 match up here. It comes down to covering the grass and tackling an open space and playing those guys, they spread it around and throw it.”
“From the first game to the second game we got to see what they changed offensively and defensively.” adds coach Jones. “They got to see what we changed, what personnel changed for us. And then we’ve been two weeks, so what’s changed since then? You know we played FAMU and they played Wewa. That’s the only games we’ve had in between, and what are you going to get out of those two games? Or do you get anything at all?”
We’ll get those answers come Friday, starting at 7:30 eastern, we will have highlights of that game, as well as the 1R games between Holmes and Northview, Cottondale and Sneads and Baker and Chipley in our late news Friday night.
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