High School Football

High School Football Preview: Week 4

Week four of the high school football season features 13 games and some top-tier matchups in the Gainesville and Ocala area.

Gainesville and Clay got the action started Thursday night, with Clay taking a 28-10 victory.

Eastside vs. Bradford

Eastside and Bradford both come into Friday’s game with 2-0 records. The Rams are coming off a rainout against Buchholz, already having bested P.K. Yonge 48-21 in their season opener and shutout Keystone Heights 26-0 two weeks ago. Quarterback Holden Johnson has passed for seven touchdowns this season. His top receiver has been Antoneo Wilson, who has averaged 85.5 yards per game.

Eastside is led by first-year high school football head coach and former NFL player Harold “Gator” Hoskins, who graduated from Eastside. Hoskins has been pleased with the adversity his team has shown during the first few weeks.

The Rams have adapted to Hoskins’ coaching style, something Hoskins believes is indicative of his team’s willingness to get better.

Bradford’s defense has not allowed a single point this season, shutting out both Baldwin 35-0 and Middleburg 21-0. The Tornadoes matchup with Eastside will be their first road test of the season. Manny Covey has been Bradford’s offensive leader, racking up 94 yards on eight carries. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm.

Hawthorne vs. Orlando Christian Prep

The Hawthorne Hornets will travel to Orlando Christian Prep Friday night. The Hornets come into this one with a 2-0 record. They took down Middleburg 24-7 and Parker (Jacksonville) 36-18 last week. Hawthorne’s regular quarterback in 2021, Tyler Jefferson, transferred to Columbia before this season, opening the door for CJ Ingram, who has thrown for 210 yards and two touchdowns so far and has rushed for 135 yards. Jailen Ruth has been Hawthorne’s top target, reigning in four catches for 79 yards and two touchdowns.

Ingram is the son of Hornets head coach Cornelius Ingram, who offered his thoughts on his son’s performance and the makeup of the offense.

The elder Ingram believes Orlando Christian Prep is a strong team and looks forward to seeing his Hornets in action.

The Warriors dropped the first two games of their season to Wildwood and IMG Academy before crushing Orangewood Christian 50-0. Kickoff is set for 7pm.

St. Francis Catholic vs. First Academy

St. Francis Catholic has underwhelmed this season under new head coach James Langham. The Wolves are 0-3 and have mustered only eight points all season. It began with a 49-0 loss to Indian Rocks Christian, a 43-8 defeat to Santa Fe Catholic, and continued last week with a 46-0 shutout against Aucilla Christian.

Langham compared St. Francis to First Academy, which has also started off on the wrong foot. The Eagles 0-3 record came from losses to Cedar Creek Christian, Trinity Christian Academy and Santa Fe Catholic.

In what Langham described as a rebuilding year, he has been happy with his team’s efforts despite the lack of results.

It will be a 7pm kickoff at St. Francis.

Other Week 4 High School Football Games

Nine other games are scheduled for local teams tonight:

Buchholz vs. Creekside

Chiefland vs. Dixie County

Columbia vs. Madison County

Fort White vs. Hamilton County

Oak Hall vs. Riverside Christian

PK Yonge vs. Union County

Williston vs. Branford

Trenton vs. Wewahitchka

Bronson vs. Halifax

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