EDITOR'S NOTE: The Press Gazette is counting down the top sports stories of 2012. At No. 8 is Milton’s football team reaching the District 1-6A title match.
The table has been set and the teams sitting at it are Milton, Pine Forest, Pace, while Escambia and Pensacola are seeing who will get the final spot.
Milton's 28-20 win over Pace, which saw the Black and Gold regain the Bronze Helmet, sets up a battle for the District 1-6A title between Pine Forest and Milton at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
While the Panthers and Eagles prepare to square off, Pace will idly watch to see who will be in the shootout with them, the loser of Friday's Milton-Pine Forest game as well as the winner of the Escambia and Pensacola contest.
Depending on who is involved in the shootout will determine where the final post-season berth will be decided.
The winner of the shootout will travel to Navarre, the District 2-6A winner champion, while Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Choctaw, and Crestview are all tied in the second spot at 2-2.
"We knew after the Gulf Breeze loss we had to win the next three for us to win the district title," said Milton head coach Chafan Marsh. "We have one two of the games and the next one is at home against Pine Forest for all the marbles."
If the Panthers hope to win the title they need the team that played the second half against Pace that intercepted Brice Moore two times and amassed 331 yards in the second half instead of the unit that was held scoreless and accounted for only six yards of total offense in the first half.
"We came out a little flat and at halftime we had a gut check in the locker room," Marsh said. "We challenged them and the kids came out and responded in the second half."
For Lindsey and the Patriots the disappointment was noticeable as they dropped two of their last three district games to Escambia on a last second touchdown, while Friday's chance for a win ended when Andre Flakes intercepted a Brice Moore pass with less than 15 seconds on the clock.
"It was a hard fought game," Lindsey said. "Our kids gave it their all, but we just came up short.
"We made some mistakes and they took advantage of those mistakes to win the game."
With Milton up 21-20, Panther quarterback Cody Lowe found Isaiah Jones just beyond the line of scrimmage with a short pass and he did the rest of the work cutting through the Pace defense for a 77 yard touchdown to make it 28-20.
"In the second half we put the ball in the hands of our playmakers and let them do what they do best," Marsh said.
In Jay, the Royals dropped a 28-14 decision to Graceville.
This Friday the Royals travel to Freeport hanging on to a hope they can be in a shootout of their own.
A Royal will and a Baker loss will create a three way tie for second place in District 1-A with the Royals, Gators, and Bulldogs all being tied at 1-2 in the district.
If Baker defeats Northview at home then the best Jay could hope for would be a tie for third place in the four team district.
Jay has not had any trouble this season scoring or amassing offensive yards, it has been the defense giving up yards and ultimate points which has hurt any post season changes
District 1 6-A
Team District Overall
Milton 4-1 6-3
Pine Forest 4-1 5-2
Pace 4-2 6-3
Escambia 3-2 4-4
Pensacola 3-2 4-3
Washington 0-5 1-7
Tate 0-5 0-8
District 2 6-A
Navarre 4-0 7-1
Fort Walton 2-2 5-3
Niceville 2-2 4-3
Choctaw 2-2 3-4
Crestview 2-2 4-5
Mosley 0-4 3-5
District 1 5-A
West Florida 4-0 8-0
Gulf Breeze 2-1 6-2
Arnold 1-2 2-5
Rutherford 1-2 2-6
Bay 0-3 2-5
District 1 1-A
Northview 2-0 7-3
Baker 1-1 5-3
Freeport 1-1 3-5
Jay 0-2 3-5
Week 9 Scores
Milton 28, Pace 20
Graceville 28, Jay 14
Navarre 44, Fort Walton Beach 28
Gulf Breeze 35, Choctaw 12
Pine Forest 21, Escambia 3
West Florida 52, Arnold 21
Pensacola 50, Washington 7
Godby 64, Tate 28
Northview 40, Vernon 0
Local games of interest – Week 10
Pine Forest at Milton - 7:30 p.m.
Catholic at Pace - 7:30 p.m.
Jay at Freeport - 7 p.m.
Rutherford at Gulf Breeze - 7 p.m.
Mosley at Navarre - 7:30 p.m.
Chiles at West Florida - 7 p.m.
Northview at Baker - 7 p.m.
Escambia at Pensacola - 7:30 p.m.
Washington at Tate - 7:30 p.m.