Graceville and Sneads last took the field in last weekend’s Big Bend Brawl final at Tommy Oliver Stadium, which the Tigers won 22-0.
The victory secured a playoff spot for the Tigers (7-3) and probably cost the Pirates (8-2) a first-round bye to start the 1A playoffs.
Both teams will be in action Friday night, with Graceville playing at Freeport (6-3) in the Region 1 quarterfinals while Sneads plays host to Jefferson County (2-8) in Region 2.
With a win, Graceville would play Baker (9-1) in the region semifinals, while Sneads would take on Taylor County (6-3).
The Pirates’ meeting with Jefferson County will be the fourth between the teams in the last year and the third this season alone.
Jefferson County eliminated Sneads 44-13 in last year’s playoffs, but Sneads has had the upper hand this year with wins of 34-18 on Sept. 13 and 35-20 on Oct. 25 in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference’s Big Bend Brawl.
Sneads rushed for 877 combined yards in the two victories, with junior running back Calvin Stringer leading the way with 231 yards and three touchowns on 25 carries in the first matchup and 267 yards and three TDs on 27 attempts in the second.
For the season, Stringer has rushed for 1,643 yards and 23 touchdowns on 10.1 yards per carry.
Graceville and Freeport are meeting for the first time this season. The teams last faced off in Week 5 of the 2018 when the Tigers won 44-13.
The Bulldogs have been resurgent in 2019, however, following up that 3-7 season with six straight victories to start this year.
Freeport finished the regular season with three straight losses against a tough final slate that included all playoff teams in Baker, Jay, and South Walton.
Graceville opened the season 4-0 under first-year coach Barry Gardner and finished the regular season with routs of Jackson County rivals Cottondale and Sneads by a combined score of 55-6.
The Tigers have been led by senior running back Jeremiah Castro, who has gained 1,349 yards on 7.7 yards per carry and scored 13 touchdowns.
Xavian Sorey has 604 yards and three touchdowns on the ground and has added three interception return touchdowns as well.
Blounststown, Vernon enjoy byes
The Tigers (10-0) and Yellowjackets (7-3) get to sit back and watch the opening round of the 1A playoffs thanks to first round byes.
Blountstown earned its bye as the top seed in Region 2 following a dominant regular season capped off by a 33-7 blowout of Baker in the SSAC North Florida League championship at Tommy Oliver Stadium.
The Tigers will play in the region semifinals against the winner of Bozeman vs. Port St. Joe.
Vernon earned the No. 2 seed in Region 1 thanks to a strong season against a difficult schedule, with the three losses coming top two seed 1A playoff teams Blountstown and Taylor County and 7A squad Crestview.
The Yellowjackets will play the winner of Northview vs. Jay in the regional semifinals.