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(Photo by: Jordyn Reed).

Friday Night Lights: Local Games Tonight

A day before a packed evening of local high school football, the Gainesville Hurricanes played host to the Ocala Forest Wildcats. The Hurricanes got off to a strong start in the first half and ultimately won 46-7 on Thursday night.

On Friday, there will be a few more conference matchups to pay attention to. A couple of the head coaches in these key games spoke to Steve Russell on ESPN 98.1 FM SportScene to discuss the importance of this week:

Eastside vs. North Marion

After losing to Buchholz in their first game, Eastside has gone on an impressive four-game winning streak. Led by Florida Gators commit Anthony Richardson, the Rams have averaged 48.4 points per game. They also boast an average margin of victory of 38.3 points.

Even though his offense has been prolific, head coach Cederrick Daniels said this strength presents problems for the other side of the ball:

Daniels also praised North Marion’s rushing attack, even comparing it to how the Florida Gators’ offense used to operate. Slowing down the Colts’ ground game and improving their tackling on defense are a couple of points of emphasis for Daniels’ team.

There may be four games left in the season for Eastside after Friday, but Daniels stressed the impact of coming out victorious:

Union County vs. Newberry

Like Eastside, Union County has a home conference game this week.

The Fightin’ Tigers are hoping to snap a two-game losing streak when they take on Newberry. In that span, head coach Ronny Pruitt’s group has lost to Baldwin and Dixie County by an average of 30.5 points per game.

Despite their recent struggles, Pruitt is impressed with how his players have responded to losses in practice:

In order for Union County to come out victorious, Pruitt said that his team needs to play within their system. He has also made it a priority for his team to not make mental mistakes or turn the ball over.

Some other notable games

The Oak Hall Eagles have a home conference game against Saint Francis at 7 p.m. Games being played at 7:30 p.m.: P.K. Yonge will be on the road at Bell, Keystone Heights will play host to Hawthorne and Williston travels to Fort White.

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