Blountstown dispatches Marianna 20-6
MARIANNA - A dominating Tiger defense led the way as the Blountstown Tigers defeated the Class 4A Marianna Bulldogs 20-6 last Friday night in Marianna. It was the Tiger defense that played lights out again holding the Bulldogs under 70 yards of total offense and only allowing a total of 6 points in the last three ball games.
The game started fast and furious for the Tigers in the first quarter scoring 12 points. Marianna received the kickoff but fumbled on the third play of the game. Tiger Jamarius Engram nailed the Bulldog ball carrier forcing the fumble that Seth Brown pounced on setting up the Tiger offense in great field position on the Bulldog 36 yard line. The Tigers struck pay dirt two plays later when QB Bryson Horne hit a leaping Trevon Mathews 35 yards down the middle of the field. The Tiger place kicking woes continue as the extra point attempt failed to clear the crossbar but the Tigers took the 6-0 lead merely 1:32 into the game. Marianna took the ensuing kick off and earned one first down then moved backwards the next three plays forcing a punt. The Tigers got great field position starting their drive on the Bulldog 47. The Tigers marched into the red zone then promptly received two penalties and two incomplete passes and faced a 4th and 21 from the 31 yard line. On 4th down Bryson Horne connected with a wide open Trevin Smith on a wheel route down the left side line for the Tiger touchdown. The Tiger try for the 2-point conversion was fumbled away but the Tigers took the 12-0 lead after two possessions and 3:11 left in the 1st quarter.
As the second quarter started the Tigers had the ball in Bulldogs territory but an interception turned the ball over to the Bulldogs. That turnover turned the short field into points for the Bulldogs as they marched 47 yards in 10 plays aided by two Tiger penalties. On third and goal, Bulldog Werlean Pollock plunged into the end zone from 1 yard away. A bad snap on the extra point attempt thwarted the kick attempt but the Bulldogs cut the Tiger lead to 12-6 with 6:53 left in the half. The Tigers would move the ball again into Bulldog territory but turn the ball over at midfield with a fumble. The half would end after consecutive punts.
The Tigers opened the second half receiving the kick off but failed to earn a first down. A 59 yard punt by Tiger Shad Johnson would flip the field and pin the Bulldogs down to their 16 yard line. The Tiger defense forced a three and out and received the ball after the punt on the Bulldog 40 yard line. Coming out in the shotgun formation, the Tigers moved the ball quickly down to the red zone reaching a 1st and goal at the 8. Two penalties later and the Tigers were pushed back to the 26 yard line and ended up losing the ball on downs at the 8 yard line. The Tiger defense would hold and force a punt giving the ball back to the Tigers in Bulldog territory on the 41 yard line. Once again back-to-back penalties on the Tigers took their momentum away and forced a punt. Tiger Shad Johnson’s punt rolled down inside the 1 yard giving the Bulldogs a tough start to their next drive. The Tiger defense held again forcing a 3 and out at the start of the 4th quarter.
Tiger punt returner KK Godwin took the ensuing punt and raced 28 yards setting up the Tiger offense with a 1st and goal at the 7 yard line. The Tigers would struggle again inside the red zone losing the ball on downs inside the 1 yard line. The Tiger defense would get on the scoreboard 3 plays later when Trevon Mathews sacked the Marianna QB in the end zone for the 2 point safety. The Tigers took the 14-6 lead with 8:26 left in the game. After receiving the free kick after the safety, the Tigers offense came out in a tight bunch formation and rammed the ball between the tackles and drove down the field 65 yards in 9 plays taking 4:24 off the clock. Javas Davis finished the drive with a run from 5 yards out. The extra point attempt was wide left but the Tigers put the game away at 20-6 with 3:56 left in the game. Marianna would lose the ball on downs on their next possession and the Tigers would run the clock out to end the game.
Tiger Head Coach Greg Jordan was relieved with the win, “It was not pretty but it was a win. We have to have some of our leaders take ownership of this team and carry the team. The coaches have down everything to get this team into position to win games. It’s now up to the players to play smart and execute. We absolutely can’t continue to turn the ball over and have crucial penalties go against us and continue to win games.”
The Tiger offense showed a balanced attack going for 236 total yards and nearly doubling up Marianna in the second half running 29 plays to just 16 for Marianna. In the air, QB Bryson Horne was 7-14 for 105 yards, 2 TD’s, 1 INT. Trevon Mathews had 2 catches for 43 yards with a TD, Trevin Smith hauled in a 31 yard TD catch and Tristen Burke reeled in two passes for 19 yards. The Tiger ground attack went for 126 yards led by Shad Johnson’s 58 yards on 13 carries. Javas Davis added 35 yards with Trevon Mathews chipping in 24 yards on the ground. The Tiger defense dominated the line of scrimmage all night with Jamarius Engram, Alex Buggs, Trevon Mathews and Shad Johnson all having double digit tackles.
The Tigers (5-2, 1-1) are back in district play this Friday night with the Freeport Bulldogs coming to town for Homecoming Week. The Tigers are in a must win situation if they have any chance to advance to the playoffs. Kickoff this Friday night in Blountstown will be at 7 p.m. CT.