The Blountstown vs. Liberty County rivalry held extra special meaning this year as the two collided at Bowles Field Friday night.
The Tigers were 4-0 in district play while Liberty Co. and Port St. Joe were each at 3-1. A win over Liberty Co. and the Tigers were District Champs. A Liberty Co. win would force a three team playoff in Bristol Monday afternoon to determine the District Championship and the runners-up spot in the post-season playoffs.
The Tigers and Bulldogs battled the entire game, but it was Liberty County’s running attack that finally wore the Tiger defense down and took control late in the third quarter. Quarterback Terrance Evans rushed for 181 yards while brothers Kevin and Keith McCray ran for 63 and 55 yards respectively. The Bulldogs went ahead 13-6 late in the third quarter and tacked on another score in the forth to win the game, 19-6.
The Tigers got the game’s first big break when P.J. Buggs scooped up a fumble and returned it deep into Bulldog territory. A few plays later, Buggs passed to Leon Broxton who made a leaping catch in the endzone. The PAT by Alexander Garrett sailed wide left and the Tigers led 6-0.
In the second quarter, Keith McCray tied the game on a 30 yard scamper. Liberty Co. also missed their extra point kick and the game was tied at 6-6.
Later in the first quarter, a bad punt snap was recovered by the Bulldogs but it set the Tigers up at the Bulldog 20 yard line. The Tigers reached the Bulldog 2 but failed to get into the endzone on 2 runs and 1 pass. Garrett’s field goal attempt again went left.
After the goal line stand, it was apparent momentum had shifted to the Bulldogs and they held it for the remainder of the game.
The Tigers got another big break in the fourth quarter when a Tiger punt struck a Bulldog and was recovered by the Tigers near the Bulldog 35.
The Tigers could not take advantage of the turnover.
The Tiger defense made several key stops on third and fourth downs in the third and fourth quarters but the offense could not move the ball on Liberty Co. The Bulldogs held the Tigers to 31 yards rushing for the game and only 45 yards passing. Tiger quarterback P.J. Buggs had three passes intercepted in the game.
Liberty Co. finished the night with 307 yards rushing and completed one pass for 5 yards.