The Pahokee Blue Devils take on the Baker Gators in the FHSAA Class 1A state title game at Camping World Stadium in Orlando on Thursday. Both schools are undefeated as they enter this contest.
Pahokee(13-0) won five state championships in a six-year stretch including capturing three consecutive titles from 2006 until 2008. They dropped in classification from Class 3A to Class 1A in 2015. The Blue Devils gained more confidence heading into the playoffs as they won the Muck Bowl for the first time since 2007 with a 27-14 victory over local rival Glades Central. All three of their playoff games have been played at home. They barely got by Newberry 35-34 in overtime during the regional semifinal, knocked off the defending Class 1A state champions Trenton 47-28 in the regional final and edged Madison County 21-19 in the state semifinal.
The Blue Devils are led on offense by quarterback Tyrone Smith. Running backs Rodney McKay, Jim Travis Gray and Jarvis Blackman will get their share of carries from the backfield. Smith looks to connect passes with wide receivers Tyron Arnett and Adarius Dent along with tight end Zatavian Morgan.
Baker(13-0) had a tough path to get to the title game with their first playoff game at home and their last two games on the road. They blasted Cottondale 56-6 in a regional semifinal, defeated Graceville 21-14 in a regional final and slipped by Blountstown 20-19 in a state semifinal.
The Gators will put more emphasis on the run than the pass. Running backs Junior McLaughlin, Jalen Ciurleo, Jayson Moore and quarterback Kalee Ciurleo can rush the ball at anytime. Wide receivers Derek Peoples Jr. and Logan Rickmon look to make receptions from Ciurleo.