Soaring and sliding – The Northwest Florida Daily News
SETH STRINGER @SethSnwfdn
John Hicks doesn’t see one facet of the game where Niceville specifically shines.
The offense is putting up 41 points a game.
The defense has two shutouts and has allowed 13 or less points in four of the six contests.
The special teams is routinely putting points on the board, whether directly through blocked punts, punt returns and field goals or indirectly through winning the field position battle.
“I know we’re not outstanding in any area, but I feel like collectively we’re solid in all three areas,” Hicks said. “Rather than being known for your offense or being know for your defense, I think it’s more important to be known as a team.”
Hicks saw the Eagles (5-1) transform into just that in the second half of a 55-45 win over Fort Walton Beach. Down 31-21 late in the third quarter in the District 3-6A opener, the Eagles handled the adversity well.
“The Fort Walton game really brought us closer as a football team,” Hicks said. “After halftime we took another step in becoming a team.”
Another takeaway from the district opener was Niceville, the standard bearer of postseason football with 16 straight playoff appearances, better be prepared to get everyone’s best.
Enter 2-4 Choctaw, which enters Eagles Stadium Friday night fresh off a bye after a 35-14 running-clock loss at district foe Crestview.
Choctaw isn’t mathematically eliminated from the playoffs. With Crestview hosting Fort Walton Beach Friday, all four District 3-6A teams are still alive for that automatic regional quarterfinals berth.
But the Indians face an uphill climb against a program they’ve yet to defeat since 2012. Ever since Dominik Jordan’s 24-yard field goal split the uprights as time expired to give the Indians a 31-28 win, the Indians have lost five straight to Niceville by