Chiefs earn rematch

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Northview Chiefs defense stuffs a Blountstown Tiger during last Friday’s playoff win in Blountstown.|Photo by A.J. Beachy

After defeating the Blountstown Tigers 20-7 last Friday night, the Northview Chiefs have advanced to the second round of the playoffs and will take on their district rivals, the Freeport Bulldogs.

The Chiefs (10-1, 7-1) are venturing back to the site of their lone loss this season where the Bulldogs essentially cliniched their district championship with a 28-13 win over Northview on Oct. 15.

The Chiefs are looking at the game as their chance to reach the third round of the playoffs and get some revenge for their only speed bump of 2010.

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Chiefs head coach Sid Wheatley said his team has a tall task ahead with a strong team.

“They have a great football team,” Wheatley said. “They are well-coached, extremely talented and they are a confident football team that has won the district the past two seasons.”

When looking back at the first game, the head man of the Chiefs sees a game his team could have won.

Wheatley said mistakes hurt his team against the Bulldogs in their first meeting.

“Looking back on the first game against them, I thought we moved the ball well,” he said. “Where we hurt ourselves were penalties and turnovers especially in the red zone. We went down in the red zone a couple of times and got backed up by penalties and you can’t do that against a team like Freeport.”

With the match up against Freeport moving closer, the Chiefs will look to avoid the same problems they faced on Oct. 15.

Wheatley said he thinks whoever makes the least amount of errors will walk away the victor.

“In a game with a good team, you cannot commit those mistakes,” he said “I feel the same way about this Friday night. I feel that the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win the game.”

After finishing with nine wins, the Chiefs have come into their own on the defensive side of the ball only giving up 21 points in their last five games including two shutouts.

Wheatley said his team has gotten better and has more confidence.

“Our group is very confident and anxious to go over there and play,” he said. “In my opinion our defense is much better. In the last five games, they have only given up three touchdowns.”

Since the first matchup, the Bulldogs have lost the eligibility of their starting running back.

With the loss, Wheatley expects Freeport’s gameplan to be a little different.

“I think they are a balanced team, but they will throw the ball more this time around,” he said. “They have a capable quarterback, big receiver and a talented tight end.”

The Chiefs and Bulldogs kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night in Freeport.