It was hard to take in what transpired on the field down in Citra Friday night if you are a Gainesville High School football fan. The Class 6A Hurricanes lost their fourth straight game after falling 41-6 to the Class 5A North Marion Colts.
The Hurricanes (0-4, 0-0) have not even begun district play, and it already seems like their season has spun out of control. Friday night proved that this team still has a long way to go.
It seems like a constant topic each week with this team. The Hurricanes can’t seem to get out of their own way. Whether it’s penalties, miscommunication on the field, or turnovers, the mistakes aren’t going away.
This was the case once again Friday night. North Marion (4-0, 0-0) forced a whopping six takeaways total and were able to capitalize with 21 points off Gainesville turnovers before halftime.
North Marion leads Gainesville, 27-0 at the half. Turnovers were the story in the 2nd quarter, as the Hurricanes couldn’t get into any rhythm offensively. @ESPNGainesville @ThePrepZone @FHSAA @GHSHurricanes
— Nicholas Anschultz (@Nick_A_98) September 21, 2019
Some of these came from poor decision making, while others were just flat out sloppy. Regardless, this is a major problem for the Hurricanes, and it needs to be addressed come the start of district play.
In addition to the turnover problems, Gainesville’s offense can’t seem to get going either. In their last two games, the Hurricanes have only put up 16 points. This included a 13-10 overtime loss to Baker County and a 37-6 loss to Oakleaf last week.
Senior quarterback Jacob Hanson struggled to get into the flow of the game Friday night. After Gainesville’s defense made a stand on fourth down with their backs against the wall early in the first quarter, the offense could never seem to move the ball down the field on any drive up until halftime.
Seeing that this side of the ball was struggling at the break, Hurricanes’ head coach Patrick Miller called an audible and went to his back up, senior quarterback Rod Williams.
Williams also didn’t have the best game, but it did feel like at times the offense was finding some energy until a silly turnover would stall the drive. But he was, however, able to lead the Hurricanes down the field on their only scoring drive of the game late in the third quarter.
This position still remains a huge question for the ‘Canes, and it will be interesting to see how Miller handles this situation next week at practice and moving forward.
A player up-and-coming
North Marion showed it has playmakers on both sides of the ball Friday night, but one who really stood out was sophomore running back Ed Williams. At 5-9 and 205 pounds, he looks every bit of a physical, fast runner.
Williams finished with one touchdown on the night, but for the season, he has a total of six TDs. Also, coming into this game, Williams had 230 yards on the ground through the first three games of the season, according to MaxPreps.
This definitely wasn’t the outcome Gainesville was hoping for heading into district play. Turnovers and poor offensive play should be the least of the team’s worries. The real question is how do they respond after taking back-to-back punches to the stomach.
Miller didn’t have much to say following the game. Simply saying, “I can’t give you nothing.”
The Hurricanes will get a chance to flip the script next week when they host the Columbia High Tigers Friday at 7:30 p.m.