SAND HILLS — You can forgive Bozeman for looking ahead to next week. Bucks coach Loren Tillman only hopes they saved a few points.
Bozeman overcame an early hiccup to race past visiting Wewahitchka 49-12 on Friday. It was Bozeman’s final tuner for the District 3-1A finale at South Walton next week when the Bucks will try to wrap up their second playoff berth in school history.
“We wanted to come out, play enough to be sharp and not get anyone hurt,” said Tillman, whose parents are Wewa natives. “That’s what we had to do to go into next Friday and give ourselves a chance to compete.”
Wewa (2-7), which lost for the fifth time in six games, struck first on the game’s opening possession. Rashard Rainie carried 66 yards on the game’s first play and Jalyn Addison scored from 3 to give the upset-minded Gators a 6-0 lead.
Thoughts of pulling off a shocker faded quickly, as James Jernigan raced 20 yards for a tying score four plays later. Jernigan added touchdown receptions of 34 and 16 yards from Jacob Martinez and Jovani Bell scored twice to stake the Bucks to a 42-6 halftime lead.
Martinez also rushed for a first-half score to help Bozeman (6-2) score 42 unanswered points. The running clock in the second half put a merciful end to the night for the overmatched Gators.
“Wewa has a lot of youth and they just need to keep playing,” Tillman said. “I see a bright future for them.”
Rainie led Wewa with 109 yards rushing on 18 carries. Addison added a second score at the end of the third quarter. The Gators were held to 199 yards for the game after amassing 77 on their first drive.
Bell exploded for a game-high 138 yards on the ground on only five totes. Martinez added 66 yards rushing and was 4 of 5 for 93 through the air. Jernigan chipped in 83 total yards.
Bozeman can assure itself no worse than a tiebreaker with a win over South Walton. The Bucks will clinch second place and a regional spot with a win and a Holmes County victory over Chipley.
“We win and see how the other game goes,” Tillman said. “If we lose then all bets are off.”
Wewa is idle next week.
- Wewahitchka 6 0 6 0 - 12
- Bozeman 21 21 0 7 - 49
- First quarter
- WHS - Addison 3 run (pass failed) 9:10, 6-0 WHS
- BOZ - Jernigan 20 run (kick failed) 7:22, 6-6
- BOZ - Bell 51 run (Burns run) 4:57, 14-6 BOZ
- BOZ - Jernigan 34 pass from Martinez (Burns kick) 3:33, 21-6
- Second quarter
- BOZ - Jernigan 16 pass from Martinez (Burns kick) 9:43, 28-6
- BOZ - Bell 1 run (Benjamin kick) 3:59, 35-6
- BOZ - Martinez 2 run (Burns kick) :55, 42-6
- Third quarter
- WHS - Addison 23 run (pass failed) :00, 42-12
- Fourth quarter
- BOZ - Thompson 5 run (Burns kick) 8:02, 49-12