Some big-time battles are on the local prep slate tonight. Here are the games that highlight the schedule in week five.
Ocala Vanguard (3-1) at Buchholz (3-1) – 7:30PM
This is pair of teams with identical records but contrasting offensive identities. Mark Whittemore prefers the aerial route for his Bobcats, led by QB Jackson White, who has thrown for nearly 800 yards and 10 touchdowns. On the other sideline, the Knights will look to control the ground game with running back Ty’Asis Files and dual threat quarterback N’Kosi Perry. The apostrophized duo racked up 240 rushing yards last week in a victory. Vanguard has won the previous three match ups between the schools, all via shutout.
GHS (3-1) at North Marion (4-0) – 7:30PM
Gainesville has navigated a tough early season schedule thus far, with their only loss coming in Week 1 when they visited Columbia. However, another road test awaits them Friday evening as they face undefeated North Marion in a cross-classification match up. The Canes defense has been stout as of late, surrendering just six points in each of their last two games. They will have to dig deep against the two-headed monster that the Colts will feature in the backfield. LSU commit Justin Watkins has rushed for almost 500 yards and can score from anywhere on the field; he is complimented by Cameron McKey (284 yards, 2 TDs). This is the first contest between these two schools since 2008.
Trenton (3-0) at Dixie County (2-1) – 7:30PM
These district rivals are more than familiar with one another, and that should provide another exciting heavyweight bout tonight. This will be the eighth time in six years that the Tigers and Bears have matched up, with Dixie County winning in 2014 after falling in the state semifinals to Trenton in 2013. Hamp Cheevers leads run game for Trenton, but they won’t be afraid to spread to the wealth to Tre McCleese, Montrez Jackson and Marcus Adams either. That quartet has combined for 11 touchdowns on the year. Dixie County will counter with a tough, balanced defense that has given up just 9.3 points per game.
Expect Trenton to be well-rested and well-prepared after having a bye last Friday. Dixie County should have no problem with fatigue either — they walloped Bronson 50-0 a week ago.
Hawthorne (3-1) at P.K. Yonge (1-3) – 7:30PM
The best storyline of the week takes place in this matchup between the hot Hornets and the struggling Blue Wave. Hawthorne head coach and alumnus Cornelius Ingram played under P.K. Yonge head man Kent Johnson during his freshman and sophomore years of high school.
“I’ve always had the utmost respect for him [Johnson],” Ingram said. “There’s a lot of history, a lot of tradition there…but we want to go over there and come out with a win.”
The Hornets have done plenty of winning lately, reeling off three straight wins for their best start since 2010.
Other match ups on tap Friday night include Newberry at Chiefland, Ocala Forest at Eastside, Pensacola Escambia at Columbia, and Hamilton County at Bradford.