Playoffs open for Big Bend football teams

Playoffs open for Big Bend football teams


Playoffs open for Big Bend football teams


The Godby Cougars and West Florida Jaguars are not strangers.

Godby has defeated the Pensacola school the past two seasons in the FHSAA playoffs.

Last year, the visiting Cougars outscored the Jaguars 14-0 in the fourth quarter to post a 28-10 victory en route to winning the Class 5A state title.

Godby coach Ronnie Cottrell is well aware of West Florida’s winning tradition and team strengths heading into Friday night’s Region I-5A quarterfinal at Cox Stadium. Kickoff is 7;30 p.m.

Jaguars quarterback Joey Baker has 3,803 passing yards and accounted for 51 touchdowns. Receiver and University of Missouri verbal commitment Lawrence Lee has nearly 900 receiving yards.

“You really run into some special teams in the playoffs, and they (Jaguars) are one of the winningest teams in the state,” Cottrell said.

“What the coach has done there is amazing. It’s going to be a challenge because they throw the ball so well.”

The Cougars (10-1) look to offset the Jaguars’ (9-1) potent offense, which has averaged 48.7 points per game, with a seasoned secondary that features four seniors.

“I feel as a unit we have to be extremely disciplined,” defensive back Tony Fields said.

“We have to do our jobs and just play hard. I feel like going into the playoffs we’ve done a pretty good job.”

Cottrell is also hopeful the Cougars’ difficult schedule has helped prepare them for the playoffs, which features 12 teams from the Big Bend spread across all classifications.

Godby’s lone defeat was at DeMatha High School (Md.), 26-9, in September. The Cougars’ schedule features eight playoff teams.

Last year, Godby won five consecutive playoff games, capping its remarkable journey with a 21-20 victory over Immokalee for the state title.

“We have played in a lot of big games, but we approach every game the same way and that’s to be disciplined and physical,” said defensive back De’ Eric Culver, who has verbally committed to Louisville.

“Everyone knows their roles. We won’t take anything for granted and we have to play all four quarters. What we did last year does not matter. That season is over and this is a new team.”


More USA TODAY High School Sports