The season’s biggest week finished with three area teams winning respective district titles. It also prompted a share at the top of the list.
Liberty County rallied then beat Port St. Joe 26-25 in overtime for the District 4-1A championship and an eighth straight win. Holmes County surged past Chipley 38-16 for the 3-1A title for a second consecutive season. Graceville capped a 2-8 turnaround with a 41-14 rout of Cottondale to secure the 2-1 championship.
Five of the top seven teams in the ranking won last week. The season concludes on Friday with non-district games.
Here is the latest PanhandleVarsity Power Ranking, with record and last week’s rank in parentheses:
1. Holmes County (7-1) (1)
The Blue Devils set up a date with Blountstown in the first round with the victory over Chipley.
(tie) Liberty County (8-2) (3)
The Bulldogs move into a tie by virtue of being the area’s hottest team and also due to defeating Port St. Joe, the lone team to down Holmes County.
3. Bozeman (7-2) (5)
The Bucks held back South Walton 46-27 for their first playoff berth since 2008.
4. Blountstown (6-3) (6)
The Tigers dominated West Gadsden 27-0 for a return postseason trip.
5. Graceville (7-2) (7)
The Tigers defeated Cottondale for the district title and increased their winning streak to five.
6. Marianna (7-2) (2)
The Bulldogs’ playoff hopes came to a heartbreaking end with a 26-25 loss to Taylor County.
7. Port St. Joe (6-3) (4)
The Tiger Sharks squandered a 19-0 third-quarter lead and their postseason dreams.
8. Cottondale (4-4) (8)
The Hornets lost, but are the district runners-up and quadrupled their win total from 2011.
9. Chipley (4-4) (9)
The Tigers will miss the playoffs after finishing second in Class 1A last season.
10. Rutherford (2-7) (10)
The Rams were no match for Gulf Breeze in a 45-15 loss.
11. Mosley (3-6) (11)
The Dolphins played hard, but were set back against Navarre 28-14.
12. Bay (3-6) (13)
The Tornadoes ended a six-game losing streak with a 21-7 win over county and district rival Arnold.
13. Arnold (2-6) (12)
The Marlins controlled the first half, but Bay won the game.
14. Sneads (4-6) (15)
The Pirates blasted Vernon 41-12.
15. Franklin County (2-6) (14)
The Seahawks were idle.
16. Wewahitchka (2-7) (16)
The Gators were off last week.
17. Vernon (1-8) (17)
The Yellow Jackets’ forgettable season continued, as they reached an area-high seven straight losses.