LYNN HAVEN, Fla. (WMBB) – The Mosley football team knocked off Panhandle powerhouse Niceville last week, clinching a district title and a spot in the playoffs.
Since 2004, Mosley had gone 0-10 against Niceville, with their 29-28 come-from-behind victory last Thursday snapping the losing streak.
It was a program-defining win for Mosley’s third-year head coach, Tommy Joe Whiddon, who happens to be a Niceville High School alum.
The Dolphins are 22-10 overall since Whiddon took over, including two district championships, and two playoff wins in his first season at the helm.
Mosley trailed by two scores in the second half and scored the would-be game-tying touchdown with under a minute left in the 4th quarter. Instead, the Dolphins went for a two-point conversion and the win.
“We kept the guys out there,” Whiddon said. “Everybody knew exactly what play we were about to run in that situation, and we executed it really well.”
Mosley was well prepared for Niceville, coming off its bye-week prior to the Thursday night showdown. Coach Whiddon said junior quarterback Sammy Freitas stepped up in the biggest moments.
“He was moving guys around to get the blitz picked up,” Whiddon said. “He was moving the running back, he was changing protections he was changing calls at the line of scrimmage based on the looks we were getting. He was playing really high-level football.”
The win clinched a district title and, per the FHSAA rules, an automatic bid to the Class 4S Regional Tournament.
“We controlled our own destiny,” Whiddon said. “We’re in the playoffs and we’re excited to find out who our matchup is going to be.”
While Mosley is still riding high on the big win, they know they still have some work to try and earn a home playoff game. Senior linebacker Ethan Poplin said humility is key to their success.
“We’re not the biggest, fastest, strongest team, so I think staying humble is super important for us,” Poplin said. “Obviously, winning is great, but it just comes down to blocking and tackling, and I think if we’re humble, I think we do those things very well.”
The Dolphins have one final regular season matchup, 7-2 Choctawhatchee. Senior wide receiver Jack Massey said they’ll be locked in, just like the game with Niceville.
“We have to go in there having the mindset that can be a tough game and can’t take any team lightly, especially in the playoffs,” Massey said. “One bad game and you’re out.”
The Dolphins will face the Choctaw Indians on the road on Thursday, October 31.