Lucky number 7 looks to be the week you want to get off of work early to catch some local high school football, as there are a variety of tantalizing match-ups in the area as we pass the midway mark of the prep season.
We first head to Citizens Field, where a rivalry will be revisited once again when the Buchholz Bobcats (3-2) take on the Gainesville Hurricanes (4-1) for bragging rights in the city until the teams battle again next year. Gainesville running back and Oregon commit Tony James has 456 yards and three touchdowns on the season, and Bobcats head football coach Marc Whittemore says the key to winning this game is keeping the ball out of James' hands.
“We have to possess the football. You let a guy like Tony James touch the ball too many times, and there are some bad possibilities that increase percentage-wise, and that is him running down the sideline; he is going to outrun people.”
The Hurricanes have won four in a row since dropping their first game to Columbia High School. Kickoff for Buchholz/GHS is set for 7pm.
Heading west, the Chiefland Indians are 5-0 on the season and will look to make it six when they travel to Trenton to take on the Tigers (3-1). Trenton ran away with the victory last year after outscoring the Indians 20-6 in the second half to win the game 26-14. Chiefland head coach Aaron Richardson expects a similar affair this year in terms of difficulty, and said in relation to the game,
“We know coming in that it will be a dogfight, and it's a huge rivalry; this game will set us up for our district run.”
Kickoff tonight is scheduled for 7:30pm.
The Santa Fe Raiders (2-3) and the Crystal River Pirates (2-3) are both winless in their district, and will look to finally get on the board when they face off against each other tonight. While the Raiders were blanked 35-0 last year by Crystal River, they are better this season, with players like senior running back Tray Presley (403 yds, 3 TDs) leading the way. Santa Fe coach Bill Wiles notes limiting offensive mistakes as a key to getting a win in their district.
“We have to be more consistent, especially offensively,” says Wiles. “If we can eliminate penalties offensively, and not give up big plays on defense, we've got a good football team.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30pm.
Some other notable games that are scheduled for tonight include Interlachen (1-5) v. P.K. Yonge (2-3), Williston (4-2) v. Jacksonville Eagle's View (0-4), and Columbia (6-0) v. Jacksonville Ed White (4-1).
Click below for audio on tonight's slate.