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Florida High School Area Football Teams Gear Up for Week 2

Gainesville vs Santa Fe, 7:30 p.m.

The Hurricanes are at home for the second straight week as they try to rebound from a 23-point opening week loss to Columbia. The Raiders will look to build off the momentum generated by their 31-13 win over Newberry.

But, Santa Fe Head Coach Dock Pollard said his team still has room for improvement.

“We just need to keep getting better on the offensive line,” he said. “That was definitely a sore spot for us last season, but they’ve shown a great amount of improvement since the spring.”

Pollard said he sees size for Gainesville on both the offensive and defensive lines along with athletic players in the secondary and linebacker. He keyed on GHS quarterback Luke Matthews and wide receiver Jalen Kelsey as the Purple Hurricanes’s standouts on offense.

Matthews threw for 392 yards on 34-48 passing with three touchdowns to two interceptions. Kelsey hauled in nine of those passes for 193 yards.

Buchholz at Vanguard, 7 p.m.

The Bobcats opened up the 2018 schedule with an 11-point win over the Eastside Rams.

Head Coach Mark Whittemore said his team was able to contain a “talented team” with a quarterback who is “one of the better athletes in this area” to just over 200 yards of total offense.

“I felt like we definitely played quality defense,” he said.

Whittemore was also impressed with senior running back Jakhai Mitchem who rushed for 177 yards and one touchdown on 15 attempts against Eastside.

The Bobcats will face even more athleticism as they take on the Vanguard Knights Friday night. Whittemore is aware of all the talent Vanguard boasts.

“I see the best athlete in the 2020 class, the fourth-best athlete from a ratings standpoint in the 2021 class, two Division 1 running backs and a quarterback that’s as slippery as anything you can think of,” he said. “We’re going to have our hands full with their athletes, there’s no doubt about it.”

P.K. Yonge vs. Keystone Heights, 7:30 p.m.

The Blue Wave also started its 2018 off with a 25-6 victory over the Wildwood Wildcats.

First-year head coach Marcus McDonald said he’s been blessed to have a large roster and players who are buying into his philosophy.

“These kids, they were primed,” he said. “They were ready for what I was bringing to them, and the timing was right. I was very fortunate in a lot of events to take place the way that they did.”

He said Keystone Heights will provide a test for P.K. Yonge’s defense.

As for the offense, McDonald is concerned about taking advantage of every drive to put points on the board. He said P.K. Yonge only scored on four of its 10 possessions against Wildwood.

“This week, we’re not going to get 10 possessions because of the way that Keystone will hold the ball,” he said. “So, we’ve got to get up to 70 percent scoring rate on our possessions to get to where we want to be to win this game.”

Other Notable Matchups

Columbia hosts Suwannee at 7:30 p.m. in their annual rivalry game.

Newberry will look to rebound from a Week 1 loss as the Panthers travel to Madison County.

Trenton plays host to Dixie County after being shutout by Chiefland one week ago.

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