BONIFAY — Turnovers were the bane of the Chipley Tigers as they fell 38-16 to the Blue Devils in conference action Friday night at Memorial Field in Bonifay.
When the Blue Devils bobbled the return of the opening kick, turning the ball over to the Tigers inside the Holmes County 10-yard line, Chipley took control of the game when junior Kobe McCrary scored from three yards out. The Tigers added two more points and Chipley was ahead 8-0 less than two minutes into the game. That was the only time a turnover would be a good thing for the Tigers.
The Blue Devils responded by scoring on their next possession, driving 72 yards on 11-plays until senior Jacky Miles Jr. scored on a 29-yard run. Senior Franklin Russ added the two-points after to tie things up 8-8 with five minutes left in the opening quarter.
In the final minutes of the half, Chipley took possession at the Holmes County 37-yard line thanks to junior Dallas Oliver’s quick punt return. A pass interference call against the Blue Devils moved the Tigers closer to the goal line with an automatic first down, then McCrary scrambled up the middle from 20-yards out to hit paydirt. McCrary then added another two in the PAT and the Tigers went into half time with a 16-8 lead.
The third quarter is where the turnover tide turned in the Blue Devils’ favor.
Holmes County’s Franklin Russ ran the Chipley punt back to the 50 yard line, then junior Britt Bailey, senior Kodi Russ and Miles combined to drive to the end zone, with Kodi Russ taking it in from the 3-yard line. Junior Ty Russ added the PAT and the game was tied 16-16.
Two plays later, a Tigers fumble at their own 22-yard line put the Blue Devils back in the end zone less than one minute later, with Ty Russ scoring on a 20-yard run. The PAT was good for two and the Blue Devils had a 24-16 lead.
Chipley was able to drive for 17 yards on their next possession before Holmes County’s Franklin Russ picked off a Jordan Finch pass deep in the Blue Devils’ territory.
Miles carried the ball 24 yards on the first play, then Kodi Russ scrambled 20 more yards to put the Blue Devils at the Tigers’ 31-yard line. Miles’ sweep left was good for15 more yards, then Kodi Russ was able to finish the drive with a 16-yard run. The two-point attempt failed, but the Blue Devils were up 30-16 and the weren’t looking back.
On their next possession, the Tigers earned 45 yards on five tries before another fumble gave the Blue Devils the ball, which they were able to drive back into the end zone, moving 46 yards on 8 plays before Miles scored with 7:39 left to play in the game. Kodi Russ broke up the middle to add the final two points of the night.
In their final drive of the night, Chipley was able to march from midfield to the 3-yard line before a final fumble ended their play for the evening.
Holmes County hosts Marianna Friday for the Blue Devils’ homecoming, while Chipley travels to Graceville. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.