SAND HILLS, Fla. (WMBB) – The Bozeman football team remains unbeaten entering the final week of the regular season, currently holding their best record in program history.
Bozeman senior defensive end, Stephan Orr said it’s been a fun season to prove the doubters wrong.
“I love to see what we’re capable of, especially because of the doubters,” Orr said. “We go out week by week, people think we’re not going to win and we surprise them.”
The Bucks have set a new program standard, sitting at 9-0 on the season. Their previous best mark was 8-3, set by the 2012 team with Division I talent like Maryland defensive lineman Chandler Burkett and Buffalo quarterback Jacob Martinez.
Bozeman senior quarterback, Peyton Gay said they have always looked to that 2012 team as the standard, but now they want the future of Bozeman to look up to the 2023 team.
“Everybody is going to kind of just point to us and be like, ‘Hey, look at this team and look at all these stats, and try to do better than them, that’s your goal,'” Gay said. “And I feel like that was what Jacob (Martinez) did for us.”
The Bucks last three victories have been Port St. Joe, Chipley and Holmes County, all playing on the road.
The most recent victory clinched a one-seed and a first-round playoff bye in Class 1R Region 1. Bozeman head coach, Jason Griffin said it’s truly been a remarkable ride.
“The only way I can describe it, is surreal.” Griffin said. “It’s just a very different experience. It’s something that we’re not used to, but at the same time, I think our kids, even though we do have all these these accolades and these types of things coming right now, they have a quiet confidence, but there’s no overconfidence at all.”
Reaching the playoffs is nothing new for Bozeman, as they’ve made in appearance in each of the previous five seasons under Coach Griffin.
Bozeman senior Ethan “Goose” Sorensen emphasized that being considered Panhandle favorites in uncharted territory for them.
“We made playoffs a couple of years in a row,” Sorensen said. “But a lot of them, I think one of them was a hurricane year, one of them was a COVID year, so we were guaranteed those playoffs. And we didn’t go very far in it. But this one, we earned it and we want to go far.”
With just one regular season game remaining, only Rutherford stands in the way of the Bucks pulling off an undefeated regular season.
Bozeman senior wide receiver, Kevin Gibbens said the team heading into the matchup completely locked in.
“We are not treating it any different than we were any other game,” Gibbens said. “You know, we’re not going to take it easy because we already got a lock for the playoffs. This one right now is the biggest game.”
Bozeman and Rutherford will face off in Tommy Oliver Stadium on Friday, November 3, at 7:00 p.m. CST.