Five area Class 1A football teams primed for playoff runs

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Published: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 04:18 PM.

Week 11 of the prep football season is reserved for most teams looking to end on a high note. For five area squads, it’s a tune up for the playoffs.

Three of those teams, Blountstown, Port St. Joe and Vernon, secured district titles, the latter two doing so in games Friday. Cottondale and Liberty County also advanced to the postseason as district runners-up.

Each of the five teams play in Class 1A’s Rural division with semifinal matchups beginning Nov. 15. All games begin at 7:30 p.m. local time as mandated by the Florida High School Athletic Association.

Area teams are split up into Regions 1 and 2. Vernon and Cottondale will compete in Region 1, while Blountstown, Liberty County and Port St. Joe are in Region 2 with both regions on course to meet in the state semifinal Nov. 29.

The top-ranked Tigers finished 4-0 to secure the District 3-1A title in their first season in the grouping. Blountstown is 9-0 overall and hosts defending 1A state champion Bratt Northview this week to close the regular season.

Blounstown draws a home regional semifinal against its rival across the bridge in Liberty County (7-2), which placed second in District 4-1A behind champion Port St. Joe after the Tiger Sharks’ 24-7 win over the Bulldogs last week. Blountstown defeated Liberty County 21-7 in the teams’ regular-season meeting Sept. 27.

Blountstown averages 36 points and 254 yards rushing per game with an offense that reeled back its production after several blowouts were decided in the first half. Liberty County, which advanced to the state semifinal last season, also averages 36 points per game but faces a Tigers’ defense that yields only six per contest with five shutouts.

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