In just 14 seconds, the Blountstown Tigers were behind a talented Port St. Joe team 7-0. Speedster Calvin Pryor returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown in a key district matchup between the only two unbeaten teams in the district.
The Tigers didn’t panic. Instead, they returned the kickoff to the St. Joe 48 and put together an impressive 8 play drive capped off by an 11 yard gallop around end by Cavon Cox. Alexander Garrett’s PAT tied the score at 7-7.
The Tigers kicked off for the second time and the Sharks took over at midfield. On first down, Pryor shot to the outside and down the sideline for his second touchdown. The PAT made the score 14-7. The Sharks had run one offensive play in the game and led 14-7. Port St. Joe never threatened again. They never crossed midfield again.
“It took our kids a quarter to adjust to their speed. After the first quarter, we played as well as we could play on defense,” coach Greg Jordan said Monday. “We controlled them on defense. We didn’t give up any big plays and we scored when we had opportunities.”
Leon Broxton had a big punt return to the Shark 15 on the final play of the first half that ignited the Tigers. “Leon’s punt return really got the kids fired up at halftime. We thought they were a little tired and we came out in the third quarter and took it to them,” Jordan noted.
Broxton’s second long punt return set the Tigers up at the Shark 15. Jawon Mosley followed some big blocks into the endzone and Garrett’s PAT tied the score at 14-14.
Early in the fourth quarter a short Shark punt set the Tigers up at the St. Joe 41. Big runs by Princeton Grant and Jawon Mosley led to a 7 yard blast by Grant. The PAT failed but the Tigers had taken a 20-14 lead.
The Tiger defense, led by Dowling Lee, shut the Sharks down in the second half. Shark possessions in the second half were 3 yards on 3 plays, (-)5 yards on 3 plays, (-)6 yards on 3 plays, and (-)4 yards on 3 plays. Wow!
Lee had 12 tackles including 1 sack and 2.5 tackles for loss. Jawon Mosley had 9 tackles with 1 sack and 1.5 tackles for loss. Byron Hall had 6 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss. Alexander Garrett had 4 tackles followed by Jason Money with 3 tackles and 1 tackle for loss. Cavon Cox, Corey McClellan, P.J. Buggs, Ryan McIntyre, Paul Mosley and Frankie Murrell all made defensive plays.
There wasn’t much offense by either team. The Tigers rushed for 150 yards while the Sharks managed 122.
Grant led the Tigers’ rushing attack with 78 yards on 16 carries. Jawon Mosley added 34 yards on 5 carries and Darren Huff had 22 yards on 6 rushes.
Charles Buggs, Jr. completed 2 of 4 passes, both to Broxton, for 26 yards.
The Tigers will travel to Franklin Co. Friday night for another district game. “They’ve got some good athletes and we really need to play well,” Jordan added.
The Tigers now control their own destiny. A win over Franklin County and Liberty County and the Tigers will be district champs. A loss to Franklin or Liberty would force a tiebreaker at a neutral site between Blountstown, Liberty County and Port St. Joe.