BLOUNTSTOWN — Blountstown makes up for a lack of flash with substance.
A lot of substance.
The Tigers continued their winning formula against Port St. Joe, combining a balanced offense with a dominating defense in a 34-0 victory Friday to secure the Region 2-1A football title. Top-ranked Blountstown (12-0) advanced to next week’s state semifinal at Cottondale, which edged Northview 34-28.
Port St. Joe, the District 4-1A champion, was held to 19 total yards and finished 8-4.
Corin Peterson and Shon Peterson each scored twice in leading Blountstown’s methodical power running attack. Alex Mayorga paced the Tigers with 88 yards on the ground, while Corin Peterson added 71 and Javakiel Brigham 65. Six ball carriers gained more than 34 yards.
“It’s a team concept, the kids have bought into it and they’re not selfish,” Blountstown coach Greg Jordan said. “They don’t care who has the carries. That’s why we don’t have the eye-popping numbers.”
Opposing offenses don’t either, due to the Tigers’ smothering defense. PSJ was unable to gain traction after scoring 45 points against South Walton in its regional semifinal win. The Tiger Sharks didn’t convert their initial first down Friday until the opening play of the fourth quarter.
“We build our team around defense,” Jordan said. “That’s no secret.”
Two high-powered, run-heavy offenses were matched with the smaller and quicker Tiger Sharks against the larger and more physical Tigers. Blountstown was able to keep Port St. Joe’s offense off the field and wore down the Tiger Sharks’ defense like so many other opponents.
Blountstown controlled the clock with more than 26 minutes of possession and outgained PSJ 67-10 in the first quarter. The Tigers led 7-0 on Dylan Lee’s 15-yard pass to Corin Peterson on third down with 5:25 to go. It was a deflating conversion after PSJ’s defense pushed Blountstown back 14 yards from the 1.
Blountstown doubled the lead on Lee’s 2-yard plunge to cap an eight-play drive late in the second quarter. The Tigers also churned up the clock with an 11-play drive that ended on a punt a possession before moving ahead 14-0.
The Tiger Sharks had little answer with 11 total yards and three punts in the first half. They turned the ball over on their first play, an 11-yard gain by Dewayne Griggs that ended with a fumble. Blountstown responded with the first score six plays later in what was the only TD it needed.
The Petersons scored on long runs on three consecutive possessions in the third and fourth quarters to cement the triumph. The Tigers notched their seventh shutout of the season against perhaps their toughest offensive test. They neutralized the explosive Griggs, holding the senior to minus-5 yards on seven carries. Jarkeice Davis led PSJ with 13 yards rushing.
“They were more physical up front and controlled the line of scrimmage,” PSJ coach Chuck Gannon said. “We couldn’t get anything going. They’re a good team and I wish them the best of luck the rest of the way.”
Marquez Johnson led Port St. Joe with 11 tackles and Griggs and Chad Quinn each had nine.
Port St. Joe 0 0 0 0 – 0
Blountstown 7 7 6 14 – 34
BHS - CPeterson 15 pass from Lee (Bennett kick) 5:25, 7-0 BHS
BHS - Lee 2 run (Bennett kick) 3:30, 14-0
BHS - SPeterson 22 run (kick failed) 1:09, 20-0
BHS - CPeterson 25 run (Bennett kick) 8:37, 27-0
BHS - SPeterson 15 run (Bennett kick) 3:21, 34-0