Playoffs lead through Tallahassee
By By Matthew Nascone
The Northview High School Chiefs are four wins away from a state championship, but the opening game looks to be a tough one for NHS.
The Chiefs (6-4) travel to Tallahassee for a first round playoff game against No. 2-ranked Florida State University High School (10-0) Friday night. NHS head coach Cody Keene said his team is ready for the playoffs.
"We are excited to be in the playoffs and we are thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to play football," he said. "This is a reward for all the hard work and commitment these kids have put into this season."
Keene knows his squad has a task at hand in the first round.
"They are a good team and we are going to work hard this week in practice to make sure we do everything right out there," Keene said. "If we play our game with the intensity we should we will have an opportunity to knock them off."
Florida High has a duo of running backs that Keene said the Chiefs will have to shut down for a win.
"Santaun McGhee and Shandale Pearson are their two running backs and they are real good football players," Keene said. "We have to make sure and stay with our assignments on defense. They will run at us from the split back and also from the option. We need to stay disciplined and get physical with them."
McGhee has been fielding offers from Purdue, Indiana and a couple of other colleges this year.
When the Chiefs have the ball, Keene said they need to stick with their blocks and execute the game plan.
The Chiefs share three common opponents with Florida High in Blountstown, Marianna and Chipley. NHS defeated Blountstown, but fell to Chipley and Marianna, but Florida High won big in all three games.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, which is 6:30 p.m. Bratt time. Keene said he knows the game is far away, but he hopes the crowd follows the Chiefs.
"It is a long way, but I hope our fans come and show their support for our kids," he said. "They have worked so hard all year and this is the playoffs."