A new kind of rival

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Chiefland heads into game against Dixie County

By Ryan Butler

There are many different types of games.
Subsequently, there are many different ways to win games.
Chiefland showed it knew another way to win with a victory in the first half of its back-to-back match-ups with its archrivals. Heading into Friday’s game at Dixie County, the Indians are going to be tested in another, more challenging way.
The Indians have won in “upsets” (Lecanto), evenly-matched teams (Hilliard), teams they should beat (Crescent City and P.K. Yonge). Last week’s game against Williston provided another twist.
Records and regular season results made Chiefland the clear favorite over Williston. History did not. But Chiefland reversed the curse (and more frequently, beat-downs) of the last decade and took care of business against the Red Devils.
They also showed that when something stronger than history, the present, does all it can to steal back a victory, the Indians can do what it takes to shut it down. This was manifest almost single-handedly by the Red Devils’ David Heinkel. Even when a player secures two turnover on his own, rushes for a touchdown, throws for a touchdown while being sacked, Chiefland was too strong a team. Not even the best player CHS defensive coordinator Cody Montgomery said he has ever coached against was enough to stop the Indians.
While the Indians secured their first-ever stint showing off the Levy Cup, Newberry was making life more difficult for them a few miles north. The Panthers defeated Dixie County, essentially clinching a playoff spot, knocking out the Bears and officially eliminating the Indians. Now this week’s 1A-7 contest is for pride in a game that a few weeks ago looked like it may have been for the post-season.
Therein lies Chiefland’s next test- defeating a hungry team that is about to play angry. Long-time Dixie County coach Brent Wilkerson made it clear that his team was gunning for the playoffs before this season. There is nothing the Bears would like to do more then to take out their frustration on the Indians.
Chiefland has to be prepared for a game unique from the rest. All indication is they will be. CHS has two losses. One (Union County) was on the road to a state championship favorite. The other (Newberry) was to a team that now looks like it will be a threat to them. There is no reason the Indians can’t go up to Cross City and pick up their first district win. To do so, they’ll have to win in a special category of its own- angry rival on the road.