TALLAHASSEE — It has been a long time since a Port St. Joe football team finished a regular season with a perfect record, so long in fact that Tiger Sharks coach Greg Jordan and former coach John Palmer couldn’t pin down the exact year when it last happened.
“I didn’t realize it but coach Palmer mentioned to me after the game that it was the first one since the early or mid-70s some time,” Jordan said. “That’s something our kids had as a goal and they’ve met that, but now you can put all that aside. We’ve got a five-week tournament with 32 teams, so we have to get ready for these playoff games.”
Port St. Joe made that goal a reality with a 24-7 win over North Florida Christian on Friday night, with senior quarterback Josh Butts rushing for a couple of touchdowns and passing for another. The Tiger Sharks’ special teams also got in the act with a blocked punt to set up one of Butts’ TD runs and a 34-yard field goal by Joel Bogaert in the fourth quarter that rounded out the scoring.
The defense was at its typical dominant best, limiting an Eagles offense that came in averaging over 20 points per game to just seven.
“I thought defensively we played really well,” Jordan said. “We took their inside zone away and boxed that up pretty well. We kept them contained for the most part. They had some yards, but I thought overall we played pretty well on both sides of the ball.”
It was the second game for the Tiger Sharks since Hurricane Michael, with the other a 34-14 win over Arnold last week. They can turn their eyes toward the playoffs now where they will likely be the top seed in the Region 2-1A field.
Jordan said that he and his players are very much looking forward to starting their postseason run, but they did take time to appreciate what they’ve accomplished to get to this point.
“We’re ready to take those playoff games one at a time, but (going undefeated) is a good thing for our kids that they’ve accomplished together amidst a tumultuous season with people losing homes and coaches and players all suffering through that makes it a little more special.”