The Buchholz Bobcats (4-5) are looking to win their season finale after last week’s devastating loss to the Creekside Knights (4-5) last Friday. They are looking to avenge that narrow defeat Friday against the Santa Fe Raiders (5-4).
Against Creekside, the Bobcats had an untimely turnover late in the fourth quarter when they were trying to run out the clock.
The Knights would capitalize on it. The next play they threw a pass to a wide receiver lined up next to the quarterback in the backfield, and the Knights’ wideout took it to the house.
Buchholz would get the ball one last time trailing 21-17 but turned it over on downs to end the game.
The nail-biting defeat will be hard to swallow because the Bobcats overcame a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
The past several years the Buchholz football program has had great success making the postseason. Before the season, Buchholz Athletic Director George Atohi said that the program has made the playoffs three out of the last four seasons. They started off district play off strong in Class 7A District 2. They kicked it off winning their first two matchups against Atlantic Coast (2-7) and First Coast (2-6).
However, the team suffered injuries, including the loss of senior center and Mercer University commit Kevin Booker.
After their first district loss to the Fletcher Senators (6-3) on October 11, Buchholz head coach Mark Whittemore knew his team was facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs. He said they were in a must-win scenario.
The Bobcats would end up falling in their next two contests against the Fleming Island Golden Eagles (8-0) and Creekside Knights (4-5). Their three-game skid to end the season put their hopes of making the postseason to rest.
The Raiders haven’t had the season they have hoped to have, but they are looking to stay above a .500 winning percentage on the season. They have fought back to get to 5-4 by defeating Forest and Eastside in their last two contests and they still could make the playoffs. They are looking to extend their winning streak to three games against Buchholz on Friday night.
Kickoff between the Buchholz Bobcats and Santa Fe Raiders is at 7:30 p.m. at Santa Fe.