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Gainesville running back Niles Cromwell carries the ball past a swarm of Eastside defenders. Photo credit to Roy Street.

High School Football: Gainesville defeats Eastside 35-14 to close out the regular season

The Gainesville Hurricanes have closed their football regular season on a strong note, beating the Eastside Rams 35-14 to move to 8-2 on the season. Gainesville wins the City of Gainesville championship and it has not qualified for the state playoffs.

Defense sets the tone for Gainesville, but Eastside punches back

Gainesville started the game with the ball, but scored no points and was forced to punt. After Eastside got the ball, quarterback Anthony Richardson threw an interception to defensive back Taurean Hill who took it for a touchdown. The PAT was good, making it 7-0 Gainesville.

After the Rams scored no points on their second offensive possession, they successfully converted a fake punt as kicker William Sawyer threw a 20-yard pass to receiver Calvontay Key. This led to a five-yard touchdown run from running back Deion Jenkins. The PAT was good, tying the game at 7 to end the first quarter. That score for the Rams was significant for them. ESPN Gainesville’s own Jake Winderman provided some insight before the game.

In the second quarter, Gainesville receiver Isaac Meacham caught a 51-yard touchdown reception to help put the Hurricanes up 14-7. The Rams, however, would easily answer back as Richardson ran for a five-yard touchdown. The PAT was good, tying the game at 14 to end the first half.

Eastside quarterback Anthony Richardson hands the ball to running back Deion Jenkins. Photo by David Street.

 

Gainesville runs away in the second half

In the second half of the game, Gainesville quarterback Luke Matthews tossed a touchdown pass to receiver Jalen Kelsey to help put the Hurricanes up 21-14. Later, receiver Christian Miller-Cardwell caught a touchdown pass to help put Gainesville up 28-14. A second pick six by the Hurricanes gave them their final TD and made the score 35-14.

Gainesville receiver Christian Miller-Cardwell takes it in for a touchdown reception to help put the Hurricanes up 28-14. Photo by David Street.

 

Gainesville suffocates Eastside with swarming defense

Gainesville won this game thanks to incredible defense. The Hurricanes came up with five turnovers including three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Hill was the standout with two pick sixes.

 

What the winning coach said

After the game, Gainesville head coach Mark Latsko gave his thoughts on his team’s performance including how the defense did and what the team needs to do to prepare for the playoffs.

What’s next?

Gainesville will await its playoff opponent while Eastside’s season comes to an end.

 

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