Bay and Rutherford ready for rivalry game at Tommy Oliver Stadium

Local Sports

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB)– The last week of the high school football regular season is rivalry week for Bay County schools.

The oldest running rivalry is between the Bay Tornadoes and the Rutherford Rams.

Both head coaches are alumni of their respective schools, which means they understand what the matchup means.

“I want to beat Bay in anything we do if we were playing tiddlywinkles I want to beat Bay,” said Rutherford football head coach, Loren Tillman.

“I played in that game a long time ago and I coached in it for ten years so I understand the importance of this game,” said Bay football head coach Keith Bland.

The first face off was played on the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, school administrators decided to still play the game as a way distract the community from the tragedy.

The rivalry was also the first high school football game in Panama City to ever be televised live.

“You hear those stories from you know graduates of the past about that big Rutherford and Bay game and how it comes together at the end of the season,” said Bland.

This year both teams sit at 2-7 and are looking to end the season on a high note.

A win for Rutherford would snap a six game losing streak in the series.

“I want it for the school the community especially these guys who we’ve put a lot of time in with,” said Tillman.

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