Local Florida high school football playoffs are underway. Before the game previews, lets appreciate how much these kids have gone through to not only have a season, but to have made it this far. The sacrifices they have made and time they have put in will not go unnoticed, regardless of the outcome of these games. Well done to all of the teams this season for their attention to detail and focus. Now, lets get to some football.
Buchholz (7-1) vs. Navarre (6-0): Class 7A
Head Coach Mark Whittemore and the Buchholz Bobcats travel out to Navarre to take on the undefeated Raiders. Whittemore is excited about how his team has been clicking in all three facets of the game. He says his Bobcats are “playing with their hair on fire” and making big plays that have caused the outcome of the game to sway their way.
Whittemore is not wrong about how well their offense has been scoring. Their last three games, Buchholz has won by a margin of 148-40. Their complete coverage and dominance on all sides of the ball has helped them make it this far. Whittemore believes they have better football ahead of them and want to continue their impressive play.
Winner faces the winner of Leon vs. Niceville.
Union County (7-3) vs. Fort White (2-6): Class 1A
Union County, the highest seed, faces the lowest seed, Fort White. Head Coach of Union County, Andrew Thomas has done extraordinary in his first year on the team. After resigning from Ocala Trinity Catholic last year, Thomas joined Union County. Prior to these schools, Thomas won two state championships with Trenton in 2013 and 2015 and mounted a 60-5 record there. Thomas is confident in his young Union County team. He believes if they can “eliminate mistakes and go play like they have been playing” they will be able to win. He notes that Fort White has an explosive QB, Tyler Jefferson, and they will do their best to contain him. Jefferson can hurt you with his arm and legs. But, Thomas believes his Fightin’ Tigers are peaking at the right time and their worst play is behind them.
The underdog of this game is Fort White. In a stunning turn of events, Fort White lost all six of their regular season games but have won their first two playoff games. They defeated Hamilton County in a play-in game, 14-6, and then upset the number one seed Branford, 21-20. You can never count this team out under Head Coach Demetric Jackson. In Jackson’s 12 years at Fort White, the Indians have advanced to the high school football postseason every season but one. Jackson notes that his team is better than their record says and believes, contrary to Union County, their best football is yet to come.
Winner faces the winner of Hilliard vs. Madison County.
- Columbia (3-5) vs. Seabreeze (4-4): Class 6A Region 1
- Winner plays winner of Mainland vs. Matanzas
- South Sumpter (4-4) vs. Bradford (5-5): Class 4A
- Winner plays winner of Bolles vs. Fernandina Beach
- Hawthorne (7-2) vs. Fort Meade (5-3): Class 1A
- Winner plays winner of Newberry vs. Wildwood
- Newberry (8-1) vs. Wildwood (8-1): Class 1A
- Winner plays winner of Hawthorne vs. Fort Meade