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Sneads Pirates make Liberty Bulldogs walk the plank

Sneads Pirates make Liberty Bulldogs walk the plank

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The Sneads High School Pirates football team won big against the Liberty County Bulldogs last Friday, Sept. 4, scoring a 33-0 victory to start the season.

Sneads scored six points in the first quarter, seven in the second, and 20 in the third quarter to take home the win.

Head Coach Bill Thomas, like some other coaches, did something unusual in his first game of the year. Faced as he was with a short preseason practice period and the late-starting football season, a circumstance brought on by COVID-19 precautions, Thomas gave his JV squad time on the field, letting that squad play all of the first quarter and all but two plays in the last quarter. His varsity team carried the middle two periods.

Sneads victory highlights against Liberty county included: A 26-yard run, 14-yard touchdown run, a 19-yard pass, a 12-yard run, an 8-yard touchdown run, a fumble recovery, a 1-yard touchdown run, a 17-yard run, a 20-yard touchdown run, and a 74-yard touchdown run. The Pirates amassed 269 total yards, 23 of those passing and 246 rushing.

C.J. McMillan, a senior transfer playing his first season as a Pirate, accounted for 84 yards in that total on three carries. Team stalwart Calvin Stringer posted 58 yards on seven carries, and Kalik Simmons had 36 rushing yards. Those yards on the ground helped the Pirates turn in a decisive shutout, but the team coach expects his squad to also threaten their opponents in the air as the year progresses.

“Our running game is ahead of our passing game right now, although we have a good passing game, too,” said head Pirates football coach Bill Thomas. “But timing and knowing the routes, that’s a little behind in our passing game because of the time on the field we didn’t have,” Thomas said. “We normally would have had three or four weeks of practice before a game, and we would have started our season in late August.”

Thomas said he’s optimistic about the rest of the season, despite the challenges. “We’ve got a really good offensive line and good running backs. We’ve got three or four backs that are going to be able to make some noise this year,” he said.

Senior C.J. McMillian played two years at Monroe, one year with Gadsden County, and is joining team veterans like Calvin Stringer and others that have anchored the Pirates.

The Pirates were set to play again on Friday, Sept. 11, in a non-conference home game against Holmes County at 7 p.m. The results of that game and other county games scheduled for that night were not available as of press time.

The Sneads High School team will face Jefferson County on Sept. 18 in an away conference game. Next up will be an away game against conference rival Franklin County on Sept. 25. Bozeman is next up, on Oct. 9, in a home conference game. The Pirates face St John Paul II on Oct. 16 in a home non-conference game. Potential playoff opponents for Oct. 23, Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 will be announced.

Marianna, Cottondale and Graceville had losses on Friday, Sept. 4, in their respective home games against Port St. Joe (26-34), Wewahitchka (18-33) and Chipley (28-0).

The gridiron going forward

Marianna was set to play Blountstown, on Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. The Bulldogs will next face Gadsden County on Sept. 18 in a home conference game, Walton on Sept. 25 in a home non-conference game, South Walton on Oct. 2 in an away conference game, Bay on Oct. 9 in an away conference game, Rutherford on Thursday, Oct. 15, in an away conference game, Maclay on Oct. 23 in a home non-conference game, North Bay Haven Academy on Oct. 30 in an away conference game, and Chipley on Nov. 6 in an away non-conference game.

Graceville next plays Holmes County on Sept. 18 in an away game at 7 p.m., and will face Bozeman on Friday, Sept. 25, in an away, non-conference game. Port St. Joe will be the opponent of Friday, Oct., 2, in a home, non-conference game. The Tigers will play Vernon on Friday, Oct. 8 in a home conference game. The team’s Oct. 16 opponent will be announced later. The Tigers do battle with the Cottondale Hornets on Friday, Oct. 16. Opponents for Oct. 23 and Oct. 30 will be announced. All games are at 7 p.m.

COVID-19 interrupts Cottondale schedule

Cottondale was next set to play Liberty County on Sept. 11 in a home game at 7 p.m. but on Wednesday, Sept. 9, school officials announced that Cottondale High football games scheduled for Sept. 11 and Sept. 18 would be postponed because three students at the school have tested positive for COVID-19 and 28 additional have been quarantined as possible contacts.

The team had been scheduled to  face Bozeman in an away non-conference game on Sept. 18. Next up on the schedule is Baker, on Sept. 25, in an away non-conference game. The Hornets do battle with Northside Methodist Academy on Friday, Oct. 2, in a home non-conference game, and go against Franklin County in an away non-conference game on Friday, Oct. 9. The Hornets and the Graceville Tigers face off on Friday, Oct. 16, in a home game for Graceville. The team’s potential playoff opponents on Oct. 23, Oct. 30, and Nov. 6 will be announced.

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The Sneads Pirates won their game last Friday night against the Wewahitchka Gators, the score 35-14 in the home district playoff game.

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