There’s a reason Freeport head coach Jim Anderson likes to see his football team play a difficult schedule.
And it’s for nights like this.
Tonight, Freeport (3-5, 1-1 in District 1-1A) will play host to district foe Jay (3-5, 0-2), and with a win, the Bulldogs will go a long way toward securing one of the district’s two playoff spots. At 2-1 in the district, Freeport would be earn the No. 2 spot behind district-leading Northview, who can finish a 3-0 district season with a win at Baker tonight. For Anderson, tonight’s must-win situation could be when a brutal schedule that included 4A Walton and 6A Fort Walton Beach could pay off.
“This is why we play teams like that,” said Anderson, whose team is in playoff position thanks to a 41-34 win at Baker in Week 6. “At the time, it doesn’t feel great when you get beat by bigger teams. But it shows you where you need to get better, it makes you tougher, it gets you ready for big games. So when we get into district play, I usually feel like we’re ready for anything.”
While Freeport enters tonight after back-to-back losses to Northview and Chipley, the Bulldogs will regain the services of junior QB Gabe Moore, who sat out the Chipley loss with an injury.
“He should be ready to go,” said Anderson. “We’ve had some bumps and bruises, some guys that couldn’t go. But we should be getting some guys back that can help us against Jay.”
Jay, which has dropped both of its district games, enters on a three-game skid of its own, though Anderson and the Bulldogs are taking nothing for granted.
“They’re a good football team,” said Anderson. “They’re very well-prepared, very disciplined. I like the way they play football.”
While Moore missed last week’s game, senior Owen Cole filled in admirably, throwing a pair of TD passes. So far this season, Cole has ac-counted for nearly 1,000 yards in total offense and 35 tackles defensively.
“Owen is a great high school football player, and a great young man,” said Anderson. “He does everything we ask.”
One last shot
For Baker to reach the playoffs, the Gators will have to unseat Northview, who has outscored district opponents by a combined score of 104-14 in two games. But a Baker win would create a logjam at the top of the standings, and keep the Gators alive for the postseason.
In other small school action, Rocky Bayou will host Aucilla Christian and Walton will entertain East Gadsden.
Contact Daily News Staff Writer Brandon Walker at 850-315-4476 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonWnwfdn.