The Tiger Sharks face off against South Walton at home on Sept. 8. [ PSJHS Athletic Department ]
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Tiger Sharks fall in ‘real nail-biter’ against South Walton

Playing rival South Walton on Friday night, the Tiger Sharks were able to put 37 points on the board before ultimately falling in what coach Tanner Jones called “a real nail-biter.”

The Tiger Sharks were able to tie the score of the game at 21-21 following a touchdown by Chance Gainer and a two-point conversion by Corbin Butts with about five minutes to go before halftime.

But with one minute left in the first half, the Seahawks were able to put another seven points on the board, bringing the score to 28-21.

With six minutes left in the third quarter, the Tiger Sharks once again tied the game with a passing touchdown. 

One minute later, the Seahawks put six points on the board after a rushing touchdown and failed point-after-touchdown attempt. South Walton would score one more touchdown in the third quarter, bringing the score to 40-28 after a failed attempt at a two-point conversion.

The Tiger Sharks went on to earn one more touchdown and a safety in the game’s fourth quarter but were unable to overcome South Walton’s lead and ended the game trailing 47-37.

Despite the loss, Port St. Joe Coach Tanner Jones said the Tiger Sharks had an impressive showing on Friday night, with several noteworthy plays and standout players.

Jones said the team played a strong offensive game, which he was glad to see after what he said was a less-than-strong offensive showing during the team’s first game of the season against Liberty County.

“At this point, we’ve played two games,” he said. “When we played the first game, I don’t think we looked good on offense at all. We looked unbelievable on defense early.”

“In this second game, we looked unbelievable on offense for about all four quarters.”

Junior Chance Gainer scored four of the tem’s five total touchdowns in the South Walton match-up, with the fifth being scored on a pass from Gainer by senior Javon Hampton.

“Chance had five carries for 213 yards and four touchdowns,” Jones said. “He accounted for all the touchdowns  — he either ran it or he threw it.”

Among the other offensive standouts from the Tiger Sharks were Uwenses Benedict, who achieved 13 pancake blocks, Devin Alaniz, who plays left tackle beside Benedict, ended the night with six pancake blocks.

Devin Cuttino was 7 of 11 for 163 yards and ran the ball 9 times for 91 total yards against South Walton. 

Estevan Angel, the team’s kicker, achieved 4 out of 5 PAT opportunities.

On defense, Senior Maddox Green ended the night with eight tackles and two sacks.

“The workhorse of the night was Corvin Butts,” Jones said. “Corvin Butts had 21 carries for 74 yards and converted a 2-point conversion while also playing defense. He had some pretty good tackles. He ended up with five tackles, one tackle for a loss, and a sack.”

The Tiger Sharks play next on the road in Troy Alabama, where they will take on Pike Liberal Arts High School on Sept. 15. 

Practicing ahead of the game, Jones said the team’s focus would be on further narrowing down their specific strengths and weaknesses.

“I am very, very pleased with the way (the team) played,” he said. “I thought they gave a lot of effort. I thought they showed a lot of heart in the game. They definitely exceeded my expectations. I was extremely proud of the kids. We had a couple mistakes that ended up costing us the game in the end…”

“Our expectation is to rebound from Friday’s loss. Hopefully we have a good week of practice and we can identify and fix some of the mistakes that we did have… We definitely want to try to get the ball in some guys’ hands offensively. Defensively, we want to play around with our coverages a little bit.”

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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