CHIPLEY — On the short list of favorites to make a run at a 1A state championship, Blountstown seemingly has a place almost every season. The Tigers certainly looked the part of title contender in Thursday’s preseason matchup with Chipley, rolling to a 42-14 victory.
The game featured only three quarters of full varsity competition, with mostly JV players competing in the first quarter. However, Chipley took the early lead with a big play from a varsity player when Kelvin Dean fielded the opening kickoff and raced 93 yards for a touchdown. Gage Sims took it in for the two-point conversion to make it 8-0.
Blountstown struck back thanks to a Chipley fumble at its own 25-yard line, finding the end zone five plays later on a 2-yard touchdown run by Tavis Simpson with 5:29 left in the first quarter. The extra point failed, leaving Chipley in the lead.
The advantage didn’t last long after the varsity squads hit the field, with KK Godwin intercepting a pass by Mason Cook to set up Blountstown’s go-ahead score. Four plays after the turnover, Treven Smith took it in from 34 yards out to make it 12-8 with 7:12 left in the first half.
After a three-and-out by Chipley, Blountstown needed just four plays to score again as Trent Peacock found a wide open Alex Valdez streaking down the right sideline for a 47-yard touchdown. Peacock converted the two-point play with an 18-yard pass to Godwin after a personal foul penalty knocked Blountstown back 15 yards for the try.
The Chipley varsity got on the board for the only time of the night on its final drive of the first half with some help from three more 15-yard penalties on the visiting Tigers. Cook made them pay on the last play of the half by finding Dean on a fade route to the left corner from 9 yards out as time expired.
Blountstown quickly added to its 20-14 halftime edge with a five-play, 31-yard scoring drive set up by a 41-yard kickoff return by Godwin. Peacock tossed his second touchdown on a rollout pass to Denzel Washington, who made a tackler miss along the sideline and raced in for a 23-yard score. Washington converted the two-point play to make it 28-14.
Peacock’s third touchdown toss came on a third-and-goal play from the Chipley 7-yard line in the waning seconds of the third quarter, finding a wide open Gabe McClellan in the end zone on a play-action pass to make it 35-14.
Blountstown tacked on one more score with a 49-yard touchdown run by JaTaveion Reed to account for the final margin. Chipley’s last possession ended with the last of its four turnovers on the night, which led to 19 Blountstown points.
Peacock completed all three passes he attempted for 73 yards and three touchdowns, while Reed led the running attack with 57 yards on two attempts. Alex Buggs rushed three times for 47 yards, followed by Smith with 40 yards and a touchdown on nine carries, and Simpson with 34 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.
Blountstown gained 339 yards of total offense on 40 plays, with Chipley countering with 149 yards on 44 plays. Dean led Chipley with 48 yards on eight attempts, while Marley Booker rushed nine times for 33 yards. Cook completed 3 of 10 passes for 24 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Chipley opens its regular season Aug. 25 at Marianna, while Blountstown opens the same night at Graceville.