Blountstown miscues lead to 10-7 victory for South Walton
by Michael DeVuyst, Contributing writer
SANTA ROSA BEACH - Defense was the name of the game in the opening district game last Friday night for the Blountstown Tigers and South Walton Seahawks. Three Tiger turnovers and a lack of red zone efficiency by the offense led to Blountstown’s demise.
Things started well for the Tigers when they recovered their opening onside kick on the Seahawk 43 yard line. Blountstown marched right down the field aided by a pass interference call and found the end zone with 8:46 left in the 1st quarter on a pass from Bryson Horne to Trevon Mathews from 6 yards out. Nathan Hunter nailed the extra point and the Tigers took the early 7-0 lead. Unfortunately for Tiger fans, that was all the points the Tigers could muster for the night. The Tiger defense would force a punt on South Walton’s first possession and a KK Godwin 27 yard punt return would set the Tigers up in great field position on the Seahawk 23 yard line. The Tiger offense would get the ball to the Seahawk 4 yard line but turn the ball over on downs. Two possessions later, the Tigers would get in the red zone again but disaster would strike with an interception in the end zone. The Seahawk defender returned the interception 98 yards down the right sideline and was tackled at the Tiger 2 yard line. Two plays later the Seahawks would tie the score at 7 with 6:32 left in the first half. The first half ended with the Tigers dominating statistically but the score tied at 7. South Walton managed only 26 yards of offense in the first half but got things rolling late in the second half.
Late in the third quarter, the Tigers were driving in Seahawk territory and lost their second turnover of the night on a fumble at the Seahawk 36 yard line. The Tiger defense held and forced a punt but the Seahawks flipped the field at the start of the 4th quarter. The Tiger offense would go backwards and be forced to punt with the Seahawks taking over on their own 28 yard line. South Walton would proceed to go on a game winning drive going 62 yards on 14 plays to the Tiger 10 yard line. A Seahawk 27 yard field goal with 3:49 left in the game gave South Walton the 10-7 lead. The Tigers took the ensuing kick off and would get close to mid-field in three plays but the third turnover of the night sealed the victory for the Seahawks.
The Tiger offense out gained the Seahawks 222 yards to 193 yards. It was the inability to convert on third down and maintain drives that cost the Tigers a chance to win. Blountstown finished a mere 1-9 in third down conversions. Tiger QB Bryson Horne finished the night going 11-18 for 114 yards with 1 TD and 2 INT’s. Tristen Burke led the Tiger ground game with 62 yards on 9 carries. Denzel Washington added 25 yards on 9 carries. Receiver KK Godwin led the Tiger receiving corps with 5 catches for 51 yards and contributed with two excellent punt returns. The Blountstown defense played tough all night long with Javas Davis, Trevon Mathews, Shad Johnson and Godwin leading the team in tackles.
Blountstown (2-2, 0-1) will be back in action this Friday night taking the short trip across the Apalachicola River to Bristol to take on the Liberty County Bulldogs (1-2). Game time in Bristol will be at 6:30 p.m. CT