Area football playoff preview capsules

liberty county

LIberty County is at Blounstown in the Region 2-1A semifinal.

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Published: Wednesday, November 13, 2013 at 20:28 PM.

Area football teams’ playoff game preview capsules. All games played on Friday and all times CST.

Region 1-1A semifinal

Cottondale (6-4) at Baker (10-0), 7:30 p.m.

How they advanced: Cottondale — Was runner-up in District 2-1A for a second consecutive season; Baker — Won the District 1-1A championship.

Marquee win(s): Cottondale — 30-14 over Graceville Nov 1 to clinch a playoff berth; Baker — 24-20 over defending Class 1A state champion Bratt Northview Nov. 1 to clinch the district title.

Toughest defeat(s): Cottondale — 15-8 against Vernon Oct. 4 in a game that decided the district title, 54-26 against South Walton Oct. 11 in a potential playoff preview; Baker — None.

All-time playoff records: Cottondale — 2-8; Baker — 29-16 with three Class 1A state titles (1983-85) and one Class 2A championship (1993).

Last year’s playoff results: Cottondale — Lost to Northview 57-6 in the regional semifinal (first round); Baker — Did not qualify.

Notes: Cottondale has advanced to the regional round for the second straight season after dipping to 1-9 in 2011. … Baker is making its first playoff appearance since advancing to the Class 2B regional in 2008. … The Hornets have lost four consecutive playoff openers and five straight overall since a third-round matchup against Jay in 2002, while the Gators have been eliminated after one game in each of their last three trips. … Cottondale has never hosted a playoff game. … This is Baker’s first home regional contest since 2001. … The Gators are 19-6 while hosting in the postseason. … The Hornets have lost three of their last five games. … The Gators have won 11 in a row dating to the 2012 regular-season finale against Vernon.

Up next: Northview (3-6) or Vernon (7-3) in the regional championship Nov. 22.

Region 1-1A semifinal

Bratt Northview (3-6) at Vernon (7-3), 7:30 p.m.

How they advanced: Northview — Finished second in District 1-1A; Vernon — Was 4-0 and secured the District 2-1A title.

Marquee win(s): Northview — 26-0 over Jay Oct. 4 to earn second place in the district; Vernon — 15-8 over Cottondale Oct. 4 in a contest that earned the head-to-head tiebreaker, 35-19 over Sneads Nov. 1 in officially clinching the district.

Toughest defeat(s): Northview — 47-18 against Chipley Sept. 13, 24-20 against Baker in the district decider; Vernon — 28-13 against Chipley Aug. 30 in the season opener.

All-time playoff records: Northview — 9-8 with one Class 1A state title (2012); Vernon — 8-11.

Last year’s playoff results: Northview — Defeated Cottondale 57-6 in the regional semifinal (first round), edged Freeport 34-28 in overtime in the regional championship, blasted Liberty County 48-14 in the state semifinal and doubled up Trenton 42-21 in winning the state crown; Vernon — Did not qualify.

Notes: Vernon has won seven games in a row since starting 0-3. … Northview is on a three-game losing streak. … The Yellow Jackets won their second district title in three seasons with the previous run ending in a first-round playoff loss to Freeport in 2011. … Northview has advanced to the postseason in each of the past four years with regional-opening wins in its last three. … The Chiefs were unbeaten against 1A foes in last season’s title finish, but they are only 3-3 against teams from the Rural classification this year. … Vernon has dropped its last two regional openers and is 2-5 in first-round games since 2001. … The Yellow Jackets are 4-1 at home this season and are 4-5 as a regional host, while the Chiefs are 1-3 on the road in the postseason. … These teams met in the 2005 Class 2B regional opener with Vernon winning 39-0.

Up next: Cottondale (6-4) or Baker (10-0) in the regional championship Nov. 22.

Region 2-1A semifinal

LibertyCounty(8-2) at Blountstown (10-0), 7:30 p.m.

How they advanced: Liberty County — Finished 3-1 and runner-up in District 4-1A; Blountstown — Was 4-0 and won the District 3-1A title in its first season in the grouping.

Marquee win(s): Liberty County — 21-10 over West Gadsden Oct. 4 to secure no worse than second place; Blountstown — 14-13 over Chipley Oct. 18 to clinch the district title, 31-0 over Northview in the season finale Nov. 8.

Toughest defeat: Liberty County — 24-7 against Port St. Joe Nov. 1 in the battle for the district title; Blountstown — None.

All-time playoff records: Liberty County — 13-18; Blountstown — 21-17 with three Class 2A state titles (1973, 1976-77).

Last year’s playoff results: Liberty County — Beat Bozeman 26-7 in the regional semifinal (first round), held back Blountstown 14-7 in the regional championship and lost to Northview 48-14 in the state semifinal; Blountstown — Blanked Holmes County 10-0 in the regional semifinal (first round), eliminated by Liberty County 14-7 in the regional final.

Notes: Blountstown won the regular-season meeting 21-7 in late September despite losing five fumbles. … Both teams have qualified for the regional tournament in each of the past five seasons. … The Tigers have appeared in the playoffs in 10 of the past 11 years. … Liberty County has won four of its last five games. … Blountstown gives up 5.5 points per game and has recorded six shutouts. … The Bulldogs are 1-11 in road playoff games and the Tigers are 13-5 while hosting. … Blountstown seeks its first trip to the 1A state final since 2004 when it fell to Fort Meade 42-38. … Liberty County last played for a state crown in 1969 in Class C before finishing second. … Last year’s playoff meeting was the first between the teams in the postseason.

Up next: South Walton (7-3) or Port St. Joe (7-3) in the regional championship Nov. 22.

Region 2-1A semifinal

SouthWalton (7-3) at Port St. Joe (7-3), 6:30 p.m.

How they advanced: South Walton — Was 3-1 and runner-up in District 3-1A; Port St. Joe —  Finished unbeaten at 3-0 in a District 4-1A title run.

Marquee win(s): South Walton — 49-21 over Bozeman Nov. 1 to earn second place in the district, 45-38 over Chipley Oct. 4, which gave the Seahawks the head-to-head tiebreaker for second; Port St. Joe — 24-7 over Liberty County Nov. 1 in winning the district championship.

Toughest defeat(s): South Walton — 49-0 against Walton Sept. 13, 48-14 against Blountstown Sept. 20; Port St. Joe — 38-0 against Arnold in the season finale.

All-time playoff records: South Walton — 1-3; Port St. Joe — 31-17 with two Class 2A state titles (1971, ’84) and one Class 1A championship (2005).

Last year’s playoff results: South Walton — Did not qualify; Port St. Joe — Did not qualify.

Notes: Port St. Joe advanced to the regional tournament for the first time since 2008 when it made it to the state semifinal. … South Walton is in the regional round for the first time since 2009. … The Tiger Sharks are 6-1 against 1A teams with two of their losses coming against Bay County 5A foes by a combined score of 57-0. … South Walton has been victorious in five of its past six games, while Port St. Joe has won four of its last five. … Seahawks’ quarterback Johnathan Ortner has passed for 2,596 yards and 35 touchdowns with only eight interceptions. … The Tiger Sharks will counter with a run-heavy offense averaging 231 yards per game. … Port St. Joe was 4-1 at home this season and is 18-5 while hosting playoff matchups. … South Walton is winless in two road playoff games.

Up next: Liberty County (8-2) or Blountstown (10-0) in the regional championship Nov. 22.

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