GRACEVILLE — Late in the third quarter of Thursday’s jamboree at Graceville High School, a Bay High defender stripped Tigers running back Jarell Carpenter as he neared midfield.
The ball came loose and the Tornadoes had a chance to recover with great field position in a scoreless quarter.
However, it was Graceville’s Quavo Sorey who scooped up the live ball and raced past the Bay defense for 50 yards to the end zone for the quarter’s only score.
It was emblematic of the night for the Tornadoes, who dropped both of their quarters in the four team jamboree – losing the other 8-0 to Blountstown – but for first-year head coach Keith Bland, just getting back on the field was a win in itself for Bay.
"It was fun, just good to see us back on the field," he said. "Since the hurricane, Bay High hadn’t played a game, so it was good to get back out there and get after it."
The jamboree featured four 15-minute quarters with no punts or kickoffs, as each team started possessions at their own 35-yard line.
Bay opened play in the second quarter against Blountstown, turning the ball over on downs on its first series just beyond midfield.
The Tigers took advantage and marched 55 yards on seven plays, scoring on a 2-yard touchdown run by Alex Valdez. Treven Smith’s 2-point conversion made it 8-0 with 7:28 on the clock.
The Tornadoes responded with an 11-play drive down to the Blountstown 8-yard line, but a 22-yard field goal attempt by Ozlo Rigby bounced off of the left goal post with 52.5 seconds to play.
Bay had another march into the red zone end in a missed field goal in its second series against Graceville, with Rigby missing left on a 34-yard attempt.
Despite the misses, Bland said he still has confidence that his sophomore kicker will be a major factor for his team in the fall.
"He’s a good kicker," he said. "It’s the first time he’s doing it, but he’s gonna be a force for us next year."
Following Sorey's touchdown to put Graceville up 6-0, Bay converted a fourth-and-short on a quarterback sneak by Kyren Sims near midfield.
But on the very next play from the Tornadoes’ 46-yard line, a deep pass by Sims sailed over his intended receiver’s head and was picked off by Aneas Myrick with 30.4 seconds remaining.
Sims went 3 for 6 for 24 yards while rushing seven times for 18 yards over the two quarters. Tyrese White was the top ground gainer for the Tornadoes, rushing 14 times for 47 yards in total.
"I was very proud of them," Bland said. "It was a great atmosphere and a lot of people here. They played hard and held their composure. They handled themselves well.
"You can say it’s 1A football teams, but those are some great football teams over there. Our guys competed and played hard. Obviously we’re gonna see mistakes on film, now we just have to correct them."
Graceville 26, Chipley 0
Graceville dominated the first quarter of action, scoring touchdowns on all four possessions.
A 46-yard run by Sorey set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Carpenter to put the Tigers up 6-0, with an interception by Myrick setting up a 33-yard TD burst by Carpenter to make it 12-0.
On the Tigers’ third series, quarterback Tanner Spooner hit Sorey for a 40-yard connection to get Graceville deep into Chipley territory, with Spooner paying it off later with a 1-yard TD run.
After another interception by Zack Zuraff, Graceville tacked on another score thanks to a deep 69-yard touchdown strike from eighth-grader Neal Adams to Damion Robinson with 11.2 seconds on the clock.
Blountstown 14, Chipley 0
Blountstown got a 6-yard touchdown run from Smith, who converted the 2-point play, to make it 8-0 with 10:03 on the clock.
After a Chipley fumble near midfield on the ensuing possession, Blountstown took advantage when Logan Pumphrey rolled to his left and found a wide open Garrett Martin for a 21-yard touchdown strike to make it 14-0 with five minutes to play.