(WMBB)– The Sneads Pirates and the Blountstown Tigers don’t play each other on the football field often even though the towns sit just 18 miles apart, making Friday’s playoff matchup big for both teams.
“It’s just kind of the newness of it, and this is one of their best teams they’ve had in years, so it’s a very exciting atmosphere,” Blountstown head coach Beau Johnson said.
Even though they are foes, both programs have a lot of respect for each other. Both the Tigers and Pirates coaches complimenting the other team.
“Sneads deserves a lot of credit, Coach Thomas, I actually voted for him as coach of the year, he’s done a great job, he’s helped turn that program around and they’re a very good football team,” Johnson said.
“Blountstown is a really good football team, they’re well-coached, they play hard, they’re disciplined,” Sneads head football coach Bill Thomas said.
The Class 1A regional semifinal game will be the second time the two have met this season.
In October, Blountstown converted on fourth and short and was then able to score late in the game. The Pirates were unable to convert when they faced a similar situation in Tiger territory, missing the first down marker by the nose of the football. Blountstown went on to win the game 20-17.
The Pirates are coming off a dominant win at home over Liberty County in round one and Blountstown picked up a win on the road over Port St. Joe to open the playoffs.
“We put it together, we’re pretty beat up right now, but we’re gonna take soldiers we got into this second round and try to do it again,” Johnson said.
Sneads has a chance to accomplish two things no group of Pirates has in the history of the football program. The first is to advance to round three of the playoffs and the second is to beat Blountstown.
“It be pretty special no one’s ever done it and if we can do it and if we can do it it will start a new chapter in Sneads football,” Sneads football player Connor McDaniel said.
The Tigers have their own things to prove with the win, their young team has been doubted at times this season. However, they knew they just had to keep pressing through the adversity that came with the virus to get to this point in the playoffs.
“There’s a lot of people even in Blountstown right now righting us off, because we didn’t have the best start as everyone knows and we were really thankful to have the quarantine come through because it helped us heal up a lot of our guys, it was a blessing in disguise,” Blountstown football player Brody Hall said.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. in Blountstown the winner will play the winner of the Taylor County vs. Bozeman game in the Region Finals.