The Gainesville Hurricanes open the season with a tough test. They host the Vanguard Knights on Thursday in one of the marquee matchups of the week.
How last year went
The Hurricanes finished their season 7-4 and an early exit in the playoffs. They were undefeated at home last season while their road record was just 2-4. They’ll start their season with a tough test against the Knights.
Vanguard had a perfect 11-0 regular season record heading into the playoffs. The Knights got trounced by the eventual state runner-up, Armwood Hawks, in the regional finals 31-6. Head coach Edwin Farmer will look to have his team ready to go for their season opener Thursday night.
How Vanguard and Gainesville matchup
A big question heading into the season for the Hurricanes was who the starting quarterback will be. They had two senior quarterbacks on the roster. Head coach Patrick Miller joined Sportscene with Steve Russell. While on the show, he explained why he chose Jacob Hanson as the starter for the first game.
Leading the way for Vanguard is a trio of Florida football recruits. 2020 commit Leonard Manuel, arguably their best player, is a versatile player who plays both sides of the ball. His athleticism allows him to play wide receiver and free safety for one of the best teams in the area. Joining Manuel at Florida are two 2021 four-stars in Trevonte Rucker and Bryce Langston.
Coach Miller welcomed the challenge of opening the season against a tough opponent.
For Gainesville to come out with win, Miller is going to have lean on his defense. The defense features a strong front seven that he hopes can carry them not only in this game but throughout the season as well.
Where to watch
The Vanguard Knights will travel to Citizens Field and take on the host Gainesville Hurricanes this Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.