Diego’s Burrito Factory Game of the Week - Bozeman at Chipley

Published: Oct. 18, 2023 at 5:54 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - This week’s Diego’s Burrito Factory Game of the Week, a huge 1-R showdown between Bozeman and Chipley on the latter’s field Friday. Let’s start with the visiting team, the Bozeman Bucks, who along with Walton, are one of just two area teams still undefeated at this point of the season. They are 7-0, by far the best start ever for a Bucks football team. That 7th win perhaps the toughest of the season, a 22-20 win at Port St. Joe.

Coach Griffin telling me he feels he’s team’s been tested a few times this season, the game at Southwest Georgia, a home win against Destin, but that win Friday he says, so big for his team in so many ways!

“You know we needed, I don’t know if statement when is the correct word, but we needed a win that really solidified what we felt we were. And I think, there aren’t a lot of teams in the last 10 or 12 years that have gone into Port Saint Joe and come out of there with a victory. I think maybe three or four programs in the last 10 or 12 years walked out of that place with a victory. So that’s a tough place to go win. It really doesn’t matter how much I believe! You know I believe in our guys, but it really doesn’t matter how much I believe in them. They have to believe in themselves. And I think if they had any doubts about who they were going into port, St. Joe, and that environment, and coming away with a victory should remove those.”

As for the Tigers, they’re 5-1 off the win at Destin. Before that they had back-to-back bye weeks which coach Buchanan says he didn’t plan but given a spate of injuries they were dealing with, well it all worked out for the best.

“We thought we had the situation under control in August and our schedule got kind of changed for us. Unfortunately, but we made the best of a bad situation. We practiced four days each week. Kind of went out and spent a little time on Destin, a little time on Bozeman, a little time on this team or that team. And really focused on us as well and getting better at what we do. It wasn’t ideal, but it turned out to be good for us because we had so many kids banged up. And we were able to get those guys back, we’re slowly starting to get those guys back here at the right time to be able to make a run hopefully.”

Back to the Bucks, Friday’s game will part two of a very tough three game stretch, at St. Joe, at Chipley and then at Holmes. Coach Griffin says for now it’s all about the fight with the Tigers.

“You know last weeks behind us and I think our kids are hyper-focused on the opportunity that avails itself to us at Chipley.” Griffin says. “You know this opportunity to control our own destiny and put us in the driver’s seat with the post season, which is the ultimate goal. I think it all comes down to this one Friday night. So I think our kids are going to be hyper-focused. I know our coaches are hyper focused on this football game. Of course they say every game is the biggest game of the season, but this is by far our biggest game of the season. This is the one that we really need to win to control where we want to go.”

”It’s a big week for us,” adds coach Buchanan “not just because we’re hosting Bozeman and you have two ranked teams going at it, two of the better teams in the area going at it. But it’s homecoming, it’s the 100th season of Chipley Tiger football. And so our fans have been fired up all year. Football’s been good for us. And it’s going to be a big time game, you know with Bozeman, having the kind of season they’re having, we feel like they are going to bring a big crowd with them up from Panama City. With it being homecoming here in Chipley, our home crowds are always really good, but with homecoming on top of that, plus the folks that Bozeman’s gonna bring, I believe we’re going to have a packed house here Friday night.”

That game Friday at Rountree Stadium at Chipley set for 7 and is one of several we’ll feature on Friday Night Overtime.