As the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) football playoff coming to a close in a couple of weeks, there are still two Gainesville football teams in competition for a state title. The two teams are Columbia Tigers (5-5) and Hawthorne Hornets (9-2).
Hawthorne Hornets vs. Madison County Cowboys
Madison County Cowboys (10-2) is coming off an 18-7 win against the Union County Fightin’ Tigers (8-4). Cowboys senior quarterback RJ Williams completed nine out of 16 passes for 100 yards. Williams ran for 105 yards leading to one touchdown, and he threw for one touchdown to senior wide receiver Zechariah Jones. The Cowboys rushed for 314 yards averaging nine yards per carry, and senior running back Greg Mitchell rushed for one touchdown.
Hawthorne will have a challenge going against a well-rounded offensive attack in Madison County. The Hornets will need a big performance out of their defense by forcing turnovers. In their last matchup against the Wildwood Wildcats, the Hornets had four sacks and one forced fumble. The defense also had a total of 60 total tackles.
The Hornets should look to their offense to win the game by scoring early and keeping the lead. Hornets junior quarterback Chaz Mckey completed nine of 17 passes for 115 yards. Mackey threw for one touchdown to senior wide receiver Quay Jones and had a quarterback rating of 94.0. Hornets senior running back Dre Lawrence should have a big game in his last game. He ran for 157 yards and scored one touchdown. Madison County defense will have to have outstanding performance to stop the Hornets on Friday.
Hawthorne Hornets head coach Cornelius Ingram speaks on his matchup against Madison County:
Columbia Tigers vs. St. Augustine Yellow Jackets
The Yellow Jackets won their last matchup 34-7 against the Pace Patriots. St. Augustine senior quarterback Sam Edwards completed 10 out of 12 passes for 87 yards and had a quarterback rating of 129.5. Edwards rushed for two touchdowns and threw for one touchdown to senior wide receiver Dequan Stanley. The Yellow Jackets had a total of four rushing touchdowns and rushed for a total of 235 yards.
The Columbia Tigers will have to play well on defense to stop the Yellow Jackets’ offense. In their last matchup against the Mainland Buccaneers, the Tigers had six sacks, two fumble recoveries, and 93 total tackles. There should be a good matchup on Friday evening when the Tigers’ defense goes up against the Yellow Jackets’ offense.
The Tigers junior quarterback Kade Jackson completed 10 out of 21 passes for 119 yards. Jackson also threw two touchdowns, one to junior receiver Marcus Peterson and the other to sophomore receiver Tray Tolliver. The Tigers’ rushing attack didn’t have the most remarkable performance on the ground as they only rushed for a total of 20 yards but did score one touchdown by sophomore Tony Fulton. On Friday night, the Tigers will need to have a well-rounded game on offense and defense against the St. Augustine Yellow Jackets in order to move on to the next round in the Class 6A playoffs.
Columbia Tigers head coach Brian Allen speaks on his matchup against St. Augustine: