Buchholz RB Quinton Cutler shining after returning from injury. (Seth Johnson/Main Street Daily News)

Buchholz and Oak Hall Headline Stellar Friday High School Football

With the high school football playoffs in just under a month away, it is make-or-break for some Gainesville high schools. Buchholz and Hawthorne have solidified their dominance all season. But for teams like Eastside, P.K Yonge and Newberry a win Friday is crucial for their postseason hopes.

Buchholz at Oakleaf

The undefeated Buchholz Bobcats travel 90 minutes north to face the struggling Oakleaf Knights in Orange Park. After starting the season, 2-0, the Knights have lost three straight.

The Bobcats come into Friday night hot as ever and have multiple players wearing the orange and blue in the near future. Linebacker Myles Graham, son of newly inducted Florida-Geogia HOF inductee Earnest Graham, and defensive lineman Kendall Jackson are key contributors for Buchholtz.

Kickoff starts at 7 p.m.

Newberry at Eastside

Both the Eastside Rams and Newberry Panthers come into Friday’s game 4-2 on the season. If either team wants to have solid footing for the postseason, this game is a must-win.

Newberry comes in with a more potent offense, averaging nine more points per game than Eastside. But the Rams have outscored their opponents 80-0, including a 42-0 win against North Marion, in their past two games. Eastside has been hitting on offense at the perfect time.

Newberry’s issue is that they are a hot-and-cold football team. They have shown flashes of dominance against Chiefland and West Port but have lost two home games against two strong teams in Hawthorne and Williston. But head coach Edward Johnson still loves the fight he sees in his team.

This game will be telling on where the direction of the season will go for both teams and should be the game of the week in Gainesville. Kickoff starts at 7:30 p.m.

P.K. Yonge vs Oak Hall

The Oak Hall Eagles are 6-0 this season under coach RJ Fuhr. P.K. Yonge enters the matchup 3-3, but had two rough draws against Hawthorne and Union County at the beginning of the season. PKY’s last loss last week to West Nassau at home was a game it should want back but looking ahead, this matchup against the Eagles has the makings of an Oak Hall blowout.

However, Fuhr does not want to overlook his opponent Friday night and sees it as a good opportunity against a good opponent.

Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Union County vs Hawthorne

Hawthorne comes into Friday undefeated, and Union County has already lost two games this season. However, according to head coach Andrew Thomas, Union County is just a couple breaks away from being undefeated with Hawthorne.

In the games outside of Orlando Christian Prep and Walton, Union County outscored its opponents are 149-12. With both teams with state championship aspirations, this should be one of the better games of the season for the local Gainesville high schools. Kick off for this game is at 7:30.

About Nick VanZandt

Nick VanZandt is a senior journalism student at the University of Florida and this is his third semester working for WRUF.

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