The Milton Panthers (4-1) have tasted success this season, but that won’t fill their quota as the team begins District 2-6A play this Friday.
The Panthers play host to Gulf Breeze, a team hungry for its first win since Sept. 11.
Panthers coach Chafan Marsh said that he’s seen his team improve each week after busting their tails in practice.
This week will be about taking the next step.
Offensively, the Panthers will look from leadership from senior wide receiver Kobi Floyd, who Marsh said has been consistent all year.
“We’ve been winning as a whole,” said Floyd, who’s produced 392 yards on 15 catches for five TDs this season. “Defense has been hitting on all cylinders and we have a high-potency offense. We’ve got a really good sophomore QB (Aubrey Williams), he hits all his marks. Our O-line is doing really well and coaches have been doing their part, holding us to a high standard and keeping us in line.”
Milton’s primary challenge Friday night could likely be stopping the Dolphins pass game.
With Tyler Phelps (94-of-179, 889 yards, 7 TDs) under center, Gulf Breeze has four receivers with 10 catches or more.
But that won’t seem to rattle LB Niko Tzagakis or defensive end Brady White.
“I remember two years ago we lost to (Gulf Breeze) in our homecoming game,” said Tzagakis, who is second on Milton with 44 tackles this year. “This year I think we’ve got a really good shot.
“Our defense is savage. With the brutality and mentality we have, we just go in and get the job done.”
White showed a similar level of excitement for Friday’s game.
“I’m pumped … we just gotta come out and do what we are coached to do,” said White, who has recorded two sacks and 25 tackles. “Gulf Breeze has a good quarterback and they are a good passing team. We gotta really work on our pass drops and everything else as a defense.”
And though Milton’s 4-1 start has been the best in Marsh’s five-year tenure, the Panthers will block out their record when kickoff rolls around.
“Everyone is 0-0 in district play … we have a huge game Friday night,” Marsh said. “We’ve gotta focus on getting to 1-0.”
Want to go?
•Who: Gulf Breeze Dolphins vs. Milton Panthers.
•Records: Gulf Breeze (1-4); Milton (4-1)
•Where: Milton High
•Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
•Skinny: Tyler Phelps will seek his primary target Cole Sheppard as Gulf Breeze heads into Milton’s homecoming to face a defense which allows 18.4 points-per-game.