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High School Football Preview: Gainesville High Hosts Ocala Forest

The Gainesville High Hurricanes are back in action this week, hosting the Ocala Forest Wildcats in a Thursday night matchup. The Hurricanes look to continue their three-game win streak by taking care of business at home. The Wildcats, on the other hand, are looking to bounce back after a big defeat last week.

Hurricanes Improving

The Hurricanes came out of a tight game last week with a win in overtime. They defeated North Marion 24-21 after converting a field goal in overtime. With this win, they improved to a 3-1 record. They have not tasted defeat since their opening match of the season against Columbia.

Gainesville High Head Coach Patrick Miller believes that the team can build off a tight win like last week’s. Having the team in a tight ballgame improves the players’ ability to react in tough situations, win each down, and win each battle. While he says that “those games are not good for coaches” he still believes “they’re good for the players.”

Miller, who previously served as their defensive coordinator, is in his first year as head coach of the Hurricanes, and he’s seen a pretty good start to the season. He took over following former head coach, Mark Latsko’s departure in March. Gainesville High finished with an 8-3 record last year, and Miller is looking to build off of last season.

The main area where Miller sees his team’s improvement is on the defensive side of the ball. The team has a lot of young players, and in spring Miller says he “wasn’t sure who was going to start where.”

As the season has gone on, and the players have snaps under their belts, they’ve found the right guys for the defense. After allowing 44 points against Columbia, Gainesville High has only allowed 51 points over their last three games. A big improvement for the Hurricanes.

Looking Ahead

The Gainesville High Hurricanes will take on Ocala Forest tonight. Ocala Forest comes into the matchup following a 60-0 loss to Jones High. The Hurricanes have all the momentum in this matchup. Both teams had a shorter time to prepare for the matchup since the game is being played on a Thursday night.

Losing a day of preparation, Coach Miller says it put “more pressure on the coaches to get more work done on the weekend.” According to Miller, there’s nothing different in the team’s preparation except that they lost one day.

This game against Ocala Forest also serves as preparation for the rest of the Hurricanes’ season. Following this week’s matchup, Gainesville High will face tough opponents in Buchholz and Vanguard.

When and Where

The Gainesville High Hurricanes will host the Ocala Forest Wildcats on Thursday, September 27th. Kick off is set for 7:30 p.m. in Gainesville at Citizen

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