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Tiger Sharks defeat Franklin County in 7 on 7 contest

Footballs filled the air last Tuesday, June 20, when Franklin County and Port St. Joe competed in a 7 on 7 football contest at Shark Field, with St. Joe outscoring the Seahawks 33-24. 

Without helmets, pads, and tackling, 7 on 7 football emphasizes the passing game. The kicking game is also absent from 7 on 7 scrimmages. 

Teams start at the 40 yard line, and, as in regular football, have four downs to gain a first down or lose control of the ball. First downs are reached at the 25 and 10 yard lines. 

With no blitzes or rushes allowed, a quarterback has four seconds to throw the ball or is considered “sacked.” 

A touchdown is worth the usual six points, and an interception adds another three points. Although 7 on 7 allows for teams to run for extra points, the Seahawks and Sharks did not attempt these after their scores. 

Franklin County’s Owen Juno and Cody Abercrombie each threw two touchdowns, with Lonnie O’Neal grabbing two of the scoring passes. 

Tiger Shark coach Tanner Jones also alternated his quarterbacks, with Devin Cuttino tossing one touchdown and receiving three others from Colton Johnson. 

The difference in the score came from three St. Joe interceptions of Seahawk passes: two by Johnson and the third by Javon Hampton. 

“Our kids aren’t used to 7 on 7,” said Seahawk coach John Cooper, “but we’re going to get used to it.” 

“Franklin is not bad,” said Jones. “They’ve got some good athletes. (Coach) Cooper and his coaches are doing a good job with them, and I saw Ray Bailey (Seahawk basketball coach) out there, which is a huge pickup for them because that gets all those basketball athletes out there with them.” 

With a half dozen players away for baseball camp, summer basketball, and church camp, Jones had an opportunity to “work some of our guys who didn’t play as much at Freeport,” referring to the 3rd annual FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) 7 on 7 tournament on Thursday, June 15. 

The smallest school among the five teams at Freeport, St. Joe finished second to West Florida, a 2S (Suburban) high school in Pensacola. 

Other schools at Freeport included Arnold, Niceville, and South Walton. 

At the tournament, “Chance Gainer was by far the best player there, hands down,” Jones said.

“Chance had 12 touchdowns, six interceptions, and no telling how many pass breakups,” he said. “Daren Angelino was also unbelievable, probably scoring 10 touchdowns.” 

“Javon Hampton had a really good day with some big catches. Aydan Davis and Eli Godwin also had some nice possession catches in traffic,” he said, “which is their role.” 

“Devin (Cuttino) looked horrible the first part of the day, and then he looked unbelievable when it mattered. Daren and Chance took the top off of every defense that we saw, and nobody could run with them,” he added. “Hopefully, that says something going into the season.” 

The Sharks travel to Franklin County for a rematch this Thursday, June 29, and will face Bozeman, Liberty County, and Rutherford after the July 4th holiday, with the Sharks hosting Bozeman. 

Jones added that he may also try to host a tournament before the regular season practices begin.

Colton Johnson versus Franklin County [ Amber Jones | Contributed ]

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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