BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WMBB) — The four-seed Blountstown football team is set to face top-ranked Hawthorne in the Class 1R State Semifinals, but was never expected to make it this far.

From sitting at 5-4 after week nine of the regular season, the Tigers have now won four straight and are in the final four.

“This team has come probably as far as any team that I’ve had, from midseason to the end of the season,” head coach Greg Jordan said. “Just keep continuing to improve and get better each week.”

Blountstown dealt with a tough strength of schedule this year, only facing one team in their region before the playoffs.

“Just had to get to the playoffs and then we could put our head down and we had three region games and continue to improve and try to get better and peak at the right time of the year,” Jordan said.

But as the saying goes, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

“If we would have won each game I don’t think we would have got better,” senior Yanti Miller said. “I think the losses played a big part in seeing where we need to be better at and things to fix and what aspects we needed to get right and I think the losses made us work harder.”

Back in 2019, when the current seniors were freshmen the tigers made it to the state final but fell to Madison County.

“We’re just having fun out here still pushing each other to be at a state championship and give the young kids that experience,” Miller said. “So later on, when they’re seniors, juniors, or sophomores, they can go and do the same thing, the tradition is never going to end here.”

The Tigers are set to face the top-ranked Hawthorne Hornets Friday night in the final four.

Kickoff from Hawthorne High School, just southeast of Gainesville, is set for 7:30 p.m. EST.