Blountstown ready for tough matchup with defending 1A state champions

Local Sports

BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WMBB) – While the Blountstown football team has taken on some tough opponents this season, one matchup stands out on the schedule.

The Tigers host the reigning 1A state champions, the Baker Gators, on Friday night at Bowles Field.

“I told our kids, there’s lot of people that don’t get to play in games like this, this is fun, this is exciting,” Blountstown head coach Beau Johnson said.

The 5-1 Blountstown team knows what challenges lies ahead of them and they’ve had time to prepare for it too.

While the Gators were focusing on Walton last week, the Tigers had a bye week.

“I did plan an open week on purpose in front of this game to give us time to heal up because both of these teams are so physical. This is going to be a war physically,” Johnson said.

The Tigers raised some eyebrows in their last matchup against North Florida Christian since they put up a whopping 72 points on the scoreboard against them.

Coach Johnson said the team was fueled by the tough loss to Holmes County the week before.

“We did play really really well after a very very disappointing loss. I think that’s the positive, not that we beat someone really bad or we scored 70, it’s that the kids responded to adversity,” Johnson said.

One of the things the Tigers will be looking out for this Friday night is the state’s leading rusher, Kayleb Wagner.

He didn’t play a lot in the Gators loss to Walton, but can run all over opponents if they let him.

However, the Tigers have some offensive power of their own as well, but it’s not just in one player.

“We don’t have a Kayleb Wagner, but we got four kids with 310 plus yards, we got another two with 200 or close to 200, so we share the ball a lot, but the credit goes to both of these schools offensive lines, the Wagner kid is an incredible running back but both of these offensive lines have done a great job,” Johnson said.

At the end of the day though, it’s still a regular season contest. After this matchup, the Tigers don’t have any more of those.

They will play in the SSAC playoffs and compete for a North Florida League championship and after that compete in the FHSAA playoffs too.

“It’s a big game, but you know it’s like I told my kids, it’s not life or death either, I don’t want them to be so uptight that they can’t go have fun and make plays cause that’s what it’s gonna come down to,” Johnson said.

Blountstown’s game with Baker kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday night and it’s News 13’s Game of the Week.

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