High School Blitz


Buchholz junior tailback Gerald Donald rushed for a team-high 122 yards in his team's 33-21 home win over Clay last week. The Bobcats travel to Class 6A No. 3 Columbia on Friday for their first road trip of the season.

Matt Stamey/Staff photographer
Published: Friday, September 13, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 8:51 p.m.

5 things of note in area sports

■When Santa Fe and Oak Hall's volleyball teams met last Friday in the pool competiton of the Gator Town Classic, it matched two of the winningest coaches in the area in Eagles coach Cari Martin and Raiders coach Michele Faulk. Martin, in her 26th year at Oak Hall, entered this season with a 570-181 record, while Faulk, who is also Santa Fe's athletic director, is in her 21st year (381-225). The Raiders won that meeting, but the two teams play again at Oak Hall on Oct. 14.

■St. Francis senior setter Farah Rajaee was named MVP at the Gator Town Classic. Also making the all-tournament team locally were Allison Benton (St. Francis), Julie Fuchs (Buchholz), Kailyn Nash (Gainesville), Maddie Wyatt (Cornerstone) and Whitney Drost (Santa Fe). Jacksonville Bishop Kenny, which beat St. Francis 3-1 in the championship, is currently ranked No. 18 nationally and No. 1 in Florida by MaxPreps and is 10-0 on the season. St. Francis is ranked No. 6 in Florida, No. 141 nationally.

■P.K. Yonge, which lost its first volleyball match of the season in a five-set thriller at St. Francis on Wednesday, opens play today at the Lake Highland Prep/Winter Park Tournament at the Orlando Sports Center. The Blue Wave, a top seed of a pool in the Premier Division, opens with Orangewood Christian at 5 p.m. The other top seeds in the three other pools are hosts Lake Highland Prep and Winter Park, and Metarie Park Country Day (La.). Winter Park is ranked No. 8 in MaxPrep's Xcellent 25.

■Columbia's football team is ranked No. 7 for all classifications in Florida and No. 77 nationally in the latest MaxPreps rankings.

■Two local events upcoming:

Sept. 28: Rob Ramirez City Swim Meet, Westside Park pool, defending champions Buchholz girls, Gainesville boys

Oct. 5: 13th annual Buchholz Bobcat Classic, cross country meet at Santa Fe College, defending champions Oak Hall girls (Grace Blair individual champion) and Longwood Lyman boys (P.K. Yonge's Garrett Westlake individual champion)

Games of the Week

(all games start at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)

■7A BUCHHOLZ (2-0) AT 6A NO. 3 COLUMBIA (2-0): The Bobcats make their first road trip of the season and face their toughest test. The host Tigers have been impressive in victories over two ranked opponents — Gainesville (49-7, No. 5 in 6A) and at Tallahassee Lincoln (28-14, No. 4 in 7A). Buchholz had an outstanding game last week from junior WR Naquan Howard, who returned a punt 96 yards and took a pass and ran it 80 yards, both for TDs, in the first quarter in a 33-21 win over Clay. Junior RB Gerald Donald ran for 122 yards, sophomore QB Jackson White threw for three TDs and the 'Cats defense had 10 tackles for loss, led by DT Jerome Johnson with three. Columbia's defense posted 10 sacks, led by OLB Zedrick Woods with 4, and shut out the Trojans after giving up 14 points in the 1st quarter. In two games, sophomore RB Lonnie Underwood has 389 yards and has scored 7 TDs. The Tigers are without SS Trey Marshall (ruptured stomach) and starting QB Jake Thomas (injured shoulder), who has been replaced by Nathan Taylor. Buchholz has lost 8 of its last 9 meetings with Columbia, with its last victory in 2007 (19-18). In Joe Pinkos' Week Three Forecast for Florida high school football, he favors Columbia by 41 points.

LS: COLUMBIA; JB: COLUMBIA; LB: COLUMBIA; PK: COLUMBIA

■4A NO. 5 MADISON COUNTY (1-1) AT 6A GAINESVILLE (1-1): The last time the Cowboys came to Citizens Field, they snapped the Hurricanes' 19-game home winning streak. Gainesville has won 10 games at home since, but Madison, which is coming off its worst home loss in a long time (36-6 to Eastern Christian Academy of Elkton, Md.), should be hungry to end another streak. Eric Bright has rushed for 295 yards on 49 carries with 1 TD while QB Akevious Williams has passed for 5 TDs. Gainesville posted its 3rd straight shutout last week over Eastside and will have to handle the Cowboys' run attack. Tony James and James Faulkner combined for 192 yards and 2 TDs. Sophomore QB Caelan Christian tossed 2 TDs, including a 53-yarder to Kenric Young. A year ago, GHS won at Boot Hill 14-9. Broadcast: Online at theprepzone.com

LS: MADISON: JB: GHS; LB: GHS; PK: MADISON

■1A NO. 2 TRENTON (1-0) AT DIXIE COUNTY (2-0): The host Bears can't quite crack the top 5 in Class 1A, but a win over the Tigers chould change that. Dixie, which won at Jefferson County 14-0 in only one half of play, has a pair of effective RBs in Kendell Copeland and James Bowers. Copeland ran for 169 yards in a season-opening win over 4A Taylor County. The Bears have one of the top cornerbacks in the state in UF commit Duke Dawson. Trenton, which played for the 1A state title last year, cruised in a 60-0 win over Branford. The Tigers are led by versatile QB Stephen Smith, RB Melvin Adams, WR Hamp Cheevers and LB Jacquez Powell.

LS: DIXIE; JB: TRENTON; LB: DIXIE; PK: TRENTON

DISTRICT 5-5A

■SANTA FE (1-1) AT SUWANNEE (1-0): The first district game of the season in the area with two teams hungry to get back in the postseason. Tonight is the first step toward that. The visiting Raiders had an outstanding game last week from RB Tray Presley (195 yds., 2 TDs) and RB/DB Jermari Ford (100 yds., 5 carries, 2 Ints.) and their defense posted their 1st shutout since 2011. The host Bulldogs scored 13 points in the 4th to put away Hamilton County. Last year, Suwannee won, also in Live Oak, 35-0.

LS: SUWAN; JB: SUWAN; LB: SUWAN; PK: SUWAN

Others

■5A EASTSIDE (0-2) AT 3A NO. 2 OCALA TRINITY CATHOLIC (2-0): The visiting Rams have only scored 6 points in two games, getting shut out by Gainesville last week for the 3rd straight season. It doesn't get any easier tonight in Ocala against the Celtics, who had a scare last week at home against Palatka (20-14 win). Expect Trinity Catholic to be hungry to score points. Eastside's defense faces another tough task.

LS: TRINITY; JB: TRINITY; LB: TRINITY; PK: TRINITY

CLASS 1A

■WILLISTON (2-0) AT HAWTHORNE (0-1): The visiting Red Devils can top their win total of 2012 with a victory tonight, which would be their best start since 2009. Williston rallied from a 21-point deficit to pull out a 43-40 home win over 4A Taylor County. The Hornets lost a tough one (7-6) to Interlachen last week, and an upset tonight would be their first win in 2 years.

LS: WILLISTON; JB: WILLISTON; LB: WILLISTON; PK: WILLISTON

■4A KEYSTONE HEIGHTS (1-1) AT 1A NO. 1 UNION COUNTY (2-0): This always seems to be tough, close game, even though the visiting Indians have lost the last three previous meetings. Last year in Keystone Heights, the Tigers, also ranked No. 1 in 1A at the time, escaped with an 8-7 win. Union rallied last week on the road, scoring 13 points in the 4th to beat 4A West Nassau. The Indians' QB Blake Valenzuela tossed 2 TD passes in a 19-0 win at Wildwood.

LS: UNION; JB: UNION; LB: UNION; PK: UNION

CLASS 1A

■HAMILTON COUNTY (0-1) AT CHIEFLAND (2-0): The host Indians are looking for their 2nd straight 3-0 start to a season with their first District 7 game at home against Newberry looming a week away. Chiefland has yet to give up a point so far this season, winning back-to-back 48-0 games. Junior RB Alphonso Timmons has a team-leading 236 yards rushing, and senior Deshawn Roland has 213 all-purpose yards. Trojan QB Antfernee Smith passed for 208 yards in a loss to Suwannee.

Broadcast: WZCC 93.3 FM, AM-940 and AM-1240

LS: CHIEFLAND; JB: CHIEFLAND; LB: CHIEFLAND; PK: CHIEFLAND

CLASS 1A

■JEFFERSON COUNTY (0-1) AT NEWBERRY (1-1): The visiting Tigers, state 1A champions in 2011, struggled in their season-opener against Dixie County. The Panthers return home after falling to 4A Fort White last week. Newberry has a big District 7 opener next week in Chiefland.

LS: NEWBERRY; JB: NEWBERRY; LB: NEWBERRY; PK: NEWBERRY

■1A NO. 5 LAFAYETTE (1-0) AT BELL (2-0): It has been five years since the host Bulldogs opened their season 3-0, but they are facing a tough test tonight. The visiting Hornets have a solid QB in junior Brycen Lee, WR in Tim Fleming and RBs in Jajuan Commacho and Lee Jones. Bell has one of the area's top runners in senior Austin Ritchey, who has an area-leading 578 yards, averaging over 9 yards a carry, with 8 TDs. Last year, Lafayette won 42-7.

LS: LAFAYETTE; JB: LAFAYETTE; LB: LAFAYETTE; PK: LAFAYETTE

CLASS 4A

■FORT WHITE (1-0) AT BRADFORD (0-1): The host Tornadoes were dominated last week at Baker County (43-6) and certainly want to show more offense in their home opener against the Indians. Tavaris Williams and Andrew Baker both had big games for Fort White in last week's 36-18 win over Newberry. Williams ran for 226 yards with 2 TDs and Baker, who is also the team's QB, had 2 interceptions.

LS: FT. WHITE; JB: FT. WHITE; LB: FT. WHITE; PK: FT. WHITE

■2A JACKSONVILLE CEDAR CREEK CHRISTIAN (2-0) AT 1A BRONSON (2-0), 7 P.M.: The host Eagles could top their win total from 2012 and have their best start in more than 10 years with a victory. Bronson has outscored its opponents 87-6 so far, but Cedar Creek should be a tougher test. Brad Cates and Brock Bower have rushed for a combined 513 yards and 9 TDs for the Eagles.

LS: BRONSON; JB: CCC; LB: BRONSON; PK: BRONSON

■JACKSONVILLE BISHOP SNYDER (2-0) AT P.K. YONGE (0-2), 7 P.M.: The visiting Cardinals, who only scored 190 points last year, already have 89 in two games this season. By contrast, the Blue Wave have scored 22 points in two games.

LS: SNYDER; JB: SNYDER; LB: PKY; PK: SNYDER

■BRANFORD (1-1) AT OAK HALL (0-2), 7 P.M.: The visiting Buccaneers will be playing their third game in a week. Three days after losing last Friday to Trenton (60-0), Branford made up its season-opener at home against Monticello Aucilla Christian, pulling out a 23-22 win. The host Eagles are very young but have a veteran receiver in Brad Pita. Oak Hall lost to Aucilla Christian last Friday, in Monticello, 52-14.

LS: OAK HALL; JB: BRANFORD; LB: BRANFORD; PK: BRANFORD

■4A INTERLACHEN (1-1) AT 5A PALM COAST MENENDEZ (1-1): For the second straight season, the Rams picked up a win against Hawthorne, now comes the hard part, winning another game. The host Falcons, under new coach Patrick Turner, lost last week at home to St. Augustine (30-20). Interlachen will need more offense to have a chance against Menendez.

LS: MENENDEZ; JB: MENENDEZ; LB: MENENDEZ; PK: MENENDEZ

PREDICTORS' RECORDS

Last week

Paul Kardasz 18-1; Laura Bernheim 17-2; John Boothe 16-3; Larry Savage 15-4

Overall

Laura 28-3; Paul 27-4; John 26-5; Larry 26-5

Gainesville Preps Football Power Rankings

Area's Top 10

1. Columbia 2-0

2. Buchholz 2-0

3. Gainesville 1-1

4. Union County 2-0

5. Fort White 1-0

6. Trenton 1-0

7. Lafayette 1-0

8. Chiefland 2-0

9. Williston 2-0

10. Newberry 1-1

Prep Zone Power Poll

The Prep Zone Power Poll covers 26 counties in North Central Florida and includes all classifications (www.theprepzone.com)

1. Columbia (5) (6A) 2-0 – 138

2. Jax First Coast (1) (8A) 2-0 – 132

3. Jax Trinity Christian (1) (3A) 2-0 – 125

4. Jax Bolles (4A) 2-0 – 120

5. Daytona Mainland (6A) 2-0 – 109

6. Neptune Beach Fletcher (8A) 1-1 – 101

7. Ocala Trinity Catholic (3A) 2-0 – 97

8. Madison County (4A) 1-1 – 89

9. Jax University Christian (2A) 2-1 – 84

10. South Sumter (5A) 2-0 – 80

11. Jax Sandalwood (8A) 2-0 – 73

12T. Jax Raines (4A) 1-1– 60

12T. Jax Bishop Kenny (5A) 1-0 – 60

14. Gainesville (6A) 1-1 – 47

15. Fleming Island (7A) 2-0 – 41

16. Trenton (1A) 1-0 – 32

17. North Marion (5A) 2-0 – 23

18. Ponte Vedra (5A) 2-0 – 20

19. St. Augustine (6A) 1-1 – 17

20. Union County (1A) 2-0 – 20

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