There’s no reason to panic at South Walton or Rocky Bayou.
Sure, both teams are winless – the Seahawks 0-3 and Knights 0-2.
Sure, both teams haven’t carried over the momentum from playoff campaigns.
Yet an adage applies: It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
While the Knights host North Florida Football Conference rival Maclay for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Meigs Middle School, South Walton will welcome Port St. Joe for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Knights are coming off a bye week after Hurricane Dorian canceled their road trip to St. Johns Country Day. Before that they were routed at home in a 41-6 running-clock loss to Lighthouse Private Christian academy and on the road in a 52-7 defeat at Baker.
Lighthouse is 2-1 and outscoring foes 74-49. Baker is 2-0 with a 94-14 points differential and four straight Final Fours to its name.
Needless to say, it’s been tough sledding for the Knights in the strength of schedule department.
The same can be said for South Walton, which has been outscored 104-14 on the early season.
The visit to 6A Fort Walton Beach resulted in a 35-7 loss, followed by a 27-0 defeat to Walton and a 42-7 loss to aforementioned perennial powerhouse Baker.
But there were signs of life in last week’s defeat at Baker.
Dandy Dozen receiver J.M. Allen followed up a seven-catch, 94-yard effort against Walton with a 107-yard, six-catch performance against Baker. Drake Roberts threw for 220 yards to give him 451 yards on the season, yet the Dandy Dozen quarterback has yet to find the end zone this season.
The chains are moving. There’s just been an inability to finish drives, which may have something to with the backfield’s meager 96 yards and two scores through three games.
Rocky Bayou has had similar issues behind quarterback Aaron Grabinger and playmakers Will Ferguson and Will Murray, but the Knights will look to right the ship in the NFFC opener. Looking to return to the championship form of 2013 and 2014, the Knights resume league play Sept. 27 against St. John Paul II, followed by matchups against Aucilla Christian, Munroe and Oak Hill.