As the high school football season enters the meat of the schedule, there are plenty of marquee matchups each week. The highlights for the week include home games for Buchholz, Chiefland and P.K. Yonge.
Buchholz welcomes Leon to Gainesville
The Buchholz Bobcats were on a roll to start the season, opening with a 3-0 record that included a 42-7 win over cross-town rival Eastside. However, the team took a misstep two weeks ago when it lost to Cardinal Gibbons, 16-7. Gibbons is undefeated, but the Bobcats will hope to rebound from their sole loss of the season. In their game against Leon, they have a good chance to do just that.
The Leon Lions have lost their last two games entering Friday night’s tilt; in those two losses, the Lions scored a combined 17 points and gave up a combined 77. Junior Creed Whittemore should have a field day with the Leon defense; the son of head coach Mark Whittemore has thrown for 674 yards and nine touchdowns through four games. After throwing three interceptions against Cardinal Gibbons, the junior should be hungry for a revenge game.
Trenton faces tough matchup in Chiefland
The undefeated Chiefland Indians looked less unbeatable last Friday, eking out a 14-7 win over Dixie County. Still, despite the closer win than usual, Chiefland looks poised to make a postseason run. While sophomore Dakota Fisher leads the way in the backfield, the Indians have relied on a sturdy defense to shut down opponents. Chiefland has allowed less than 14 points in three of its four contests so far this season; the Trenton offense has looked above-par at times, but it will likely face the toughest opponent it’s seen so far on Friday.
The Tigers offense is headlined by senior running back Keion Williams, averaging almost 140 rushing yards per game. The unit has scored over 30 twice so far this season, including a 41-point outing in a shootout loss to Crescent City last week. While the points are promising, the fact that Chiefland blew Crescent City out earlier this season, 56-13, does not bode well for the Trenton. For the 1-3 Tigers, keeping up with Chiefland on the scoreboard is likely their best chance at pulling off the upset.
Santa Fe, P.K. Yonge both look to get on track
When the P.K. Yonge Blue Wave welcome the Santa Fe Raiders to town on Friday, they will have a big opportunity to get their second win of the season. Senior Aaron Small Jr. has led the Wave this season at quarterback; while he hasn’t made many mistakes, only throwing one interception, he only averages just over 120 passing yards per game. The rushing attack has been moderately successful, averaging 130 yards per game on the ground, so an improvement from Small Jr. could be exactly what the Wave need against the Raiders.
For Santa Fe, the team will be on the hunt for its first win of the season. After three tightly contested losses to start the season, the flood gates were opened against Gainesville who beat the Raiders 49-14. After putting up 20-or-more points in both of their opening two games, the Raiders have failed to do so since; a Blue Wave defense that has allowed at least 24 points in each game this year could be the team to get Santa Fe out of its funk.