WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) – The Walton and South Walton football teams clinched their respective districts on Friday, earning an automatic bid to the FHSAA playoffs.
The Braves clinched the Class 2 Suburban District 1 Championship, defeating Pensacola Catholic 23-21, their first win over the Crusaders since 2004.
Walton improved to 2-0 in district play, and since Pensacola, the only district team they have not played is 0-2 in district competition, Walton secured the title.
The Braves improved to 7-0 and are the current front-runners for the top seed in 2S Region 1.
Walton head coach, Keith White said his team’s original goal was to win a county championship and a playoff game, but now the goal has been set even higher.
“Once we beat West Florida, we started talking about let’s try to be a district champion,” White said. “Now that we’ve had that opportunity and that kind of took care of itself Friday night, so yesterday at practice, we talked about going perfect.”
The Braves County rival, South Walton clinched the Class 2S District 2 Championship on Friday, defeating Bay 35-19.
The Seahawks improved to 2-0 in district play and the only team remaining for them to play, North Bay Haven, fell to 0-2 in the district, giving South Walton the title.
The Seahawks are 5-3 overall and head into a bye week before facing NBH and Marianna to close the regular season.
South Walton is unlikely to contend for home-field advantage in the playoffs but head coach, Phill Tisa said his team is right where they want to be.
“The important thing is just getting that playoff berth,” Tisa said. “Everything you work for throughout the season is all about making the playoffs. From there, it’s a it’s a one-week season every week. So we’ve got that now and that’s that’s one monkey off our backs. And now we can focus on these next couple of weeks.”
Depending on how the FHSAA rankings play out in the next few weeks, Walton and South Walton could match up in regionals.
The Braves defeated the Seahawks 34-31 in double-overtime on Friday, September 22.