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PLAYOFF PREVIEW: Hot teams in Class 1A lead the way in Regional Semifinals

Dixie County hosts Lafayette in a Class 1A Regional Semifinal to open up the playoffs (PHOTO CREDIT: @scottlapeer)

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Class 1A has been known over the last 7 years to provide some excitement given the fact that all the teams in the classification are rural, but some teams have been on a hot streak heading into the playoffs. Here are our preview and predictions for the Class 1A Regional Semifinals.




When: Friday, 7:30 p.m. CST
Where: Memorial Stadium, Bonifay
Records: Chipley, 7-3; Holmes County, 7-3
Rankings: Chipley unranked in final AP Poll, unranked in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings; Holmes County unranked in final AP Poll, unranked in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings
Last Playoff Appearance: Chipley: 2016; Holmes County: 2012
Quick Hits:
This is a rematch of Week 11’s game between the two programs. The host Blue Devils won last week’s meeting, 40-14 … Holmes County is back in the playoffs for the first time in five years … For the visiting Tigers, keep an eye on junior running back Kelvin Dean Jr., who has rushed for 1,676 yards on 192 carries so far this season. Dean has scored 22 touchdowns this season as well … For the Blue Devils keep an eye on senior running back Michael Paul who has 1,060 yards rushing on 144 carries and 8 touchdowns.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Holmes County by 26 Prediction: Holmes County 38, Chipley 14



When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Bruce Boyette Stadium, Cross City
Records: Lafayette, 9-1; Dixie County, 10-0
Rankings: Lafayette unranked in final AP Poll, unranked in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings; Dixie County ranked No. 4 in final AP Poll, ranked No. 2 in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings
Last Playoff Appearance: Lafayette: 2014; Dixie County: 2015
Quick Hits:
Lafayette is back in the playoffs for the first time in three, while Dixie County is back in the playoffs for the first time in two years … Lafayette and Dixie County are rivals and both last met in the preseason … For the visiting Hornets keep an eye on sophomore quarterback Jaxon Beach has thrown for nearly 1,900 yards and 27 touchdowns, while also rushing for over 700 yards and 11 more touchdowns on the ground … Watch out for a trio of running backs for the host Bears as they rely on the speed of running backs James Smith, Carlos Williams Jr., and Aaron Dawson … Dixie County head coach Eric Richeson is in his first year as the head coach.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Dixie County by 42 Prediction: Dixie County 40, Lafayette 17



When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wildcat Field, Wildwood
Records: Frostproof, 6-3; Wildwood, 9-0
Rankings: Frostproof unranked in final AP Poll, unranked in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings; Wildwood ranked No. 5 in final AP Poll, unranked in Joe Pinkos’ Power Rankings
Last Playoff Appearance: Frostproof: 2016; Wildwood: 2013
Quick Hits:
Just two years ago Wildwood was a football team that couldn’t even muster up a Varsity squad as they had to cancel the season to rebuild. Now after a 0-10 season last year, first-year head coach McKinley Rolley has the host Wildcats back into a winning program and back into the playoffs for the first time in four years … Frostproof has more experience winning tough games, especially on the road over the last few years than Wildwood and that experience may come down to who wins the game. However, it should be a good one for fans of both programs.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Frostproof by 8 Prediction: Frostproof 31, Wildwood 24


Region 1
No. 4 Jay (6-4) at No. 1 Baker (10-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. CST at Doug Griffith Memorial Stadium, Baker — Both teams are rivals but this is a feel-good story for Jay who has long struggled to make the playoffs in the rural Class 1A. Matter of fact this Jay’s first playoff appearance since 2007. Baker won the regular season meeting by a score of 49-27. Expect almost the same kind of result again in this one.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Baker by 10 Prediction: Baker 38, Jay 17

Region 2
No. 4 Jefferson County (4-6) at No. 1 Blountstown (8-1), Friday, 7:30 p.m. CST at Ted Cooper Stadium at Bowles Field, Blountstown — Jefferson County is one of only eight teams with losing records in the field of 192 teams that made the FHSAA playoffs. Despite the strong schedule they have played, the visiting Tigers may not find much give room by the host Tigers in this first round game.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Blountstown by 29 Prediction: Blountstown 42, Jefferson County 10

No. 3 Port St. Joe (7-3) at No. 2 Cottondale (7-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. CST at Hornet Stadium, Cottondale — This could be a very interesting matchup between these two Panhandle area teams. However, if you look deeper, you will see Port St. Joe has played the tougher schedule and most likely should be the one to walk away here with the win.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Port St. Joe by 27 Prediction: Port St. Joe 30, Cottondale 13

Region 3
No. 4 Union County (6-4) at No. 1 Madison County (10-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Boot Hill Stadium, Madison —
Union County start off the season pretty good before some injuries hit the team. Now with the playoffs here it is all or nothing, but drawing the No. 1 rated team in Class 1A for your first round opponent is ideal. This one could be over by halftime.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Madison County by 52 Prediction: Madison County 49, Union County 8

Region 4
No. 4 Williston (5-5) at No. 1 Pahokee (6-3), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Anquan Boldin Stadium, Pahokee —
Thanks to the tough schedule for the visiting Red Devils, they were able to earn their first playoff berth since 2009. However, they are facing a tall task of playing Blue Devils squad that is seeking to get the state championship back home after last year’s title was stripped from them. But take a look at the schedule, Pahokee has played up every game this season which makes Williston their first Class 1A opponent of the season.
Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Pahokee by 13 Prediction: Pahokee 28, Williston 13


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