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A good coach will tell you there is no such thing as a “moral” victory. Only results, in the long run, matter. But for a team that on this date a year ago had to be wondering if it would ever win again, last Friday brought about a good a loss as you could hope for.
Chiefland played the No. 1 team in its classification tight for four quarters. Playing a 1A powerhouse in an 8A-caliber stadium, the Indians showed its first three games were no flukes. Chiefland might not be knocking off state championship-level teams quite yet. But they’re close. Even with the loss, it’s clear Chiefland football is back.
Union County knows it too. Facing a fourth-and-one, and featuring plenty of athletes capable of gaining one yard, Tigers coach Ronny Pruitt decided to punt instead of take on the Chiefland defense. There may be no greater sign of respect. On top of that, Chiefland’s defense is giving up less than seven points per game.
On offense, the one criticism of the team from the game should be quickly reversed. Although Alphonso Timmons averaged more than seven yards per carry and the power running game as a whole, he was overlooked several times in key situations. Despite that, Timmons got 19 carries and Chiefland will maintain a physical identity. This loss could serve as a reminder of what Chiefland’s offense does best. Expect speed backs like Deshawn Rolland to get better production down the stretch. And of course expect Chiefland to play a very physical game.
Now the Indians turn their attention to tomorrow’s home game against 1-3 Crescent City. Should the Indians get past the Raiders, they have a brutal stretch run against Newberry, Williston and Dixie County before finishing off against district foe Baldwin and wrapping up against a Trenton team that looks as if it may go undefeated a second year.
Daunting as the schedule is, if Chiefland can play this well in its toughest game, it has a good chance of doing well on the rest of a difficult schedule.