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Friday Night Lights: Gainesville Hurricanes vs Eastside Rams

It’s the last Friday for regular season high school football in Gainesville. And one of the biggest rivalries in the city of Gainesville will happen tonight, right at Citizen’s field. The 5A Gainesville High School Hurricanes (5-3) will take on the 6A Eastside High School Rams (7-2) tonight. If GHS wins tonight, then the city championship belongs to the Hurricanes, however if Eastside wins, then the title is actually split between the two teams.

GHS is currently winning this series, with winning nine straight games. While the Rams have been shut out six straight years in this series.

Canes on Top

The Canes look good to make it to the high school football playoffs, but want to still keep their focus on this game. Their defense has really been playing well this season. The defense is led by sophomore DL Gentle Hunt who has had 13 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks, as well as senior DL Amos Bostick with 7 tackles for loss and 7 sacks. Head GHS Coach Mark Latsko has been pleased with this defense as well” In the last three or four games I’ve been very happy about how they’ve played, they’ve put offense in positions to be successful and we’ve been able to score lots of points, I definitely like where we’re at right now” Latsko said

On the offensive side, the Canes have junior QB Luke Matthews who has had 2,016 passing yards, 21 TDs, and 3 interceptions. They also have Jalen Kersey a junior wide receiver, who averages over 100 yards a game with eight touchdowns. With the running back duo of Willie McKnight and Kinnzon Hutchinson, they have 698 yards and 15 touchdowns combined.

What Eastside has in the bag

https://twitter.com/GVOaant/status/926534050189381632

Another obstacle the Canes look to get over is Eastside’s quarterback. Although only a sophomore, Anthony Richardson has really helped Eastside’s offense. He has passed for 1,028 yards, has added nine touchdowns, and five interceptions. He’s leading the team in rushing with 405 yards and 12 scores. He’s even recently received an offer from Louisville.

 

Latsko is aware of this young dual threat QB and what he can do “He can extend plays with his legs, he doesn’t mind running, we definitely got to keep him bottled up and know what he’s trying to do” Latsko said.

This game is important for both sides, and both teams’ fate isn’t completely in their hands. With the way high school playoffs work, seedings often depend on how will other teams around the district have played due to strength of schedule and other factors.

The game is a sense of pride, as many of these players have played with each other growing up. One of Gainesville’s biggest rivalries will be at Citizen’s field at 7:30 PM.

Who else is playing?

Other local teams will play tonight to wrap up the regular season. These teams include Columbia (7-2) at Jacksonville Bolles (7-2),  Buchholz (4-5) at Santa Fe (1-8), St. Francis 8-0 vs John Paul II (7-1), and Interlachen (2-7) at PK Yonge (1-7).

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