High School Blitz
Published: Friday, September 27, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, September 26, 2013 at 8:49 p.m.
4 things of note in area sports
■ There are eight schools idle tonight in football, two of which were scheduled to play each other. Because it has a team full of freshmen and sophomores and are struggling with injuries, Oak Hall pulled out of its game at Bell. Eagles athletic director Jeff Malloy said it was a very difficult decision, but the school was putting the safety of the kids first. This decision was made more than a week ago. Oak Hall has offered to compensate Bell for the loss at the gate and any other financial losses it may occur. Tonight was going to be Bell's homecoming game. That will now be next week when the Bronson Eagles come to town in what should be a good District 6-1A contest. Also idle today is Dixie County, which like many of the smaller schools in the area had scheduled Brandon Faith Baptist. That school later announced it would drop football this year.
■ Verbal commitments: Taylor Tomlinson, The Sun's two-time Female Golfer of the Year, has committed to Florida, following her brother J.D., who is entering his junior season as a member of the Gator golf team. Because the Eagles don't have a girls golf team this season, Taylor has been playing on the boys team and has a season average of 36.3. Another recent committment was The Rock's standout guard Mitchell Wilbekin, who announced his intention to sign with Tulsa. Wilbekin, the younger brother of UF's Scottie Wilbekin, was a first-team all-area player as a junior, helping the Lions win the state title in the Sunshine Independent Athletic Association in 2013. He chose Tulsa over Florida State and Vanderbilt.
■ Alex Mueller, a former two-time all-area volleyball setter from Eastside, recently was named to the all-tournament team at the Buttermaker Volleyball Tournament with Farleigh Dickinson College. The 10-school tourney was held at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.
■ Oak Hall will host a two-day, eight-team volleyball tournament beginning today with pool play (best of 3 games) at 3 p.m. Pool A consists of Chiefland, Oak Hall, Ocala St. John Lutheran and Williston. In Pool B will be Columbia, Cornerstone, Eastside and Melbourne Central Catholic. The championship match will be Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
Games of the Week
(All games at 7:30 p.m. unless noted)
■ NORTH MARION (3-1, 1-0) AT EASTSIDE (1-3, 1-0): A year ago, the Rams went to Sparr and pulled off a stunner, denying the Colts a district title for the first time in 10 years, and winning their first since 2008. You think North Marion has forgotten about that? Revenge will definitely be on the minds of the Colts tonight at Citizens Field in a critical district game for both teams. Both enter 1-0 in the league, Eastside rallying to win at Belleview (34-31) and North Marion holding off Suwannee (27-14) last week. Junior QB Malachi Lofland passed for 109 yards, ran for 106 and a TD and had two receptions for 28 yards for the Rams last week. Junior RB Dantez Willis ran 20 yards for the winning TD late after Belleview had taken the lead on a 79-yard scoring run. North Marion QB Caleb Seiler tossed two TD passes, including a 67-yarder on the game's first offensive play, against Suwannee. Cameron Mackey returned a kickoff 99 yards for a TD, his 2nd kick return score in as many games. No matter who wins or loses, both teams still have four district games to play, so the league title, unlike last year, won't be decided in this game. Because of a fight during last week's Eastside at Belleview football game, nine Rams received suspensions, eight for just tonight's game and one for six weeks (five games).
Broadcast: AM-1230, audio and video at theprepzone.com
LS: NMARION; JB: NMARION; LB: NMARION; PK: NMARION
■ 4A CALLAHAN WEST NASSAU (2-2) AT 1A CHIEFLAND (4-0): The host Indians are coming off a huge 34-0 win over Newberry to open District 7-1A, their first league win since 2009. But this non-district contest should be just as challenging. The Warriors, whose district includes state-ranked Raines and Bolles from Jacksonville, are coming off an impressive 38-0 win over Baldwin. They also shut out Keystone Heights (14-0) on the road and lost by 3 at 1A No. 1 Union County (13-10). Chiefland is led by all-purpose back Deshawn Roland, who averages 141 yards a game, and RB Alphonso Timmons (530 yds., 6 TDs). The Indians defense, led by DE Payton Parnell (17 tackles for loss, 4 sacks) has 69 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Broadcast: WZCC 93.3 FM, AM-940 and AM-1240
LS: CHIEF; JB: CHIEF; LB: CHIEF; PK: CHIEF
■ BRONSON (4-0) AT COTTONDALE (3-1): The Eagles are off to their best start in more than 10 years, but face a tough stretch of games with three of them on the road, starting tonight in the Panhandle. So far Bronson has outscored opponents 174-30, winning its last two games (Cedar Creek Christian, at Branford) by a combined 87-24. The Eagles are averaging 330 yards on the ground, led by Brad Cates (550 yds., 7 TDs) and Brock Brower (379 yds., 6 TDs). The host Hornets are also a team looking to turn things around from previous years, and its only loss was at 3-1 West Gadsden (28-16).
LS: COTTON; JB: BRON; LB: BRON; PK: COTTON
■ 1A HAWTHORNE (0-3) AT 3A P.K. YONGE (1-3): For P.K. Yonge coach Kent Johnson, this is an opportunity to see some familiar faces as the Hornets, who he coached from 1995-2001, come to Gainesville. The Blue Wave picked up their first win of the season last week at St. Francis (58-12), rolling up 310 yards rushing, led by senior Anthony Andrews' 136 yards and two TDs. P.K. Yonge can double its win total of 2012 with a victory tonight. Hawthorne, winless in 2012, is off to a 0-3 start and were run over at home by district foe Hilliard (62-8). The Hornets currently have the area's longest losing streak at 16 games.
LS: PKY; JB: PKY; LB: PKY; PK: PKY
■ NO. 2 COLUMBIA (4-0, 1-0) AT JACKSONVILLE ENGLEWOOD (1-3, 0-1): The Tigers make their second road trip of the season after playing and dominating their last two games at home. Junior RB Lonnie Underwood has been running over teams, playing barely over a half in the last two games and has 17 TDs and 785 yards. His play has overshawdowed a defense that has given up just 7 points in the second half. Senior LB Terry Calloway has 22 tackles, 4 for loss, one sack and one interception.
LS: COLUM; JB: COLUM; LB: COLUM; PK: COLUM
■ 1A NEWBERRY (2-2) AT 4A KEYSTONE HEIGHTS (2-1): The host Indians have won four of the last five meetings in this series. The Panthers, shut out last week in their district opener at Chiefland (34-0), obviously will be looking for more offense and getting the ball in the hands of Super 11 wide receiver Monte Seabrook. Keystone LB Darien Gilio had two fumble recoveries and two interceptions in last week's 35-7 win at Umatilla. This is the Indians' first home game in a month.
LS: NEWB; JB: KEYSTONE; LB: KEYSTONE; PK: KEYSTONE
■ 5A SANTA FE (1-3) AT 4A INTERLACHEN (1-3): The visiting Raiders have only scored six points in their last two games, both losses (Suwannee and Dunnellon) and both District 5-5A games. The host Rams have scored 21 points all season. This is the first meeting between these two schools in more than 10 years.
LS: SANTA FE; JB: SANTA FE; LB: SANTA FE; PK: SANTA FE
■ 5A PALATKA (2-2) AT 4A BRADFORD (1-2): These two teams have split their previous two games and both are coming off district wins, but the visiting Panthers have won their last two games and gave Ocala Trinity Catholic a tough game on the road (20-14 loss). The host Tornadoes, led by Super 11 WR Kenny Dinkins, have shown more offensive life the last two weeks and will need to have a good effort tonight to pull out a victory.
LS: PALATKA; JB: PALATKA; LB: PALATKA; PK: PALATKA
■ WILLISTON (3-1) AT WILDWOOD (0-3): The Red Devils are coming off a tough 6-point loss at home to Dixie County in the District 7 opener, but Wildwood is still looking for its first points of the season, outscored 102-0 in losses to South Sumter, Keystone Heights and Dunnellon. Seniors Keith Neal and Devon Webb have combined for 709 yards rushing with Neal scoring 7 TDs.
LS: WILLISTON; JB: WILLISTON; LB: WILLISTON; PK: WILLISTON
■ 1A NO. 1 UNION COUNTY (4-0) AT HAMILTON COUNTY (1-2): The visiting Tigers have won their last four meetings with the Trojans since 2007, but this is their first meeting since 2010. Hamilton had its most offensive output in its only victory of season last week at Tallahassee Maclay, totaling 372 yards. Union County has four players with at least 125 yards rushing, led by Buddy Edwards with 268 yards and four TDs. Junior QB Caleb Cox has thrown for 632 yards with 7 TDs and 1 Int. The Tigers are averaging 341 yards per game on offense and their defense has posted two shutouts in four games. For Union, a big district game looms next week.
LS: UNION; JB: UNION; LB: UNION; PK: UNION
■ POTTER'S HOUSE CHRISTIAN (0-4) AT 1A NO. 3 LAFAYETTE (3-0): Junior RB Lee Jones has become the Hornets' leading ground gainer, grinding out 448 yards and four TDs with his longest run just 26 yards. Junior QB Brycen Lee has completed 60 percent of his passes (35-of-58) for 475 yards, six TDs, 1 Int. Lafayette has 8 interceptions for season, led by Tim Fleming (2) and Kayne Hurst (2). The Lions scored their first points of the season in last week's loss to Montverde Academy (21-12).
LS: LAFAY; JB: LAFAY; LB: LAFAY; PK: LAFAY
■ MONTICELLO AUCILLA CHRISTIAN (3-1) AT ST. FRANCIS (0-4), 7 P.M.: The host Wolves have been outscored 175-42 on the season and are playing their third of five straight home games. Sophomore Nick Oelrich has a team-leading 257 yards rushing with 3 TDs. The Warriors' only loss is a one-point setback (23-22) at Branford in week 2.
LS: AUCILLA; JB: AUCILLA; LB: AUCILLA; PK: AUCILLA
■ TALLAHASSEE JOHN PAUL II (1-2) AT BRANFORD (2-2): Buccaneer senior Travis Bass has a team-leading 291 yards and 3 TDs. Branford, which ran the ball well in victories over Aucilla Christian and Oak Hall, struggled in last week's loss to Bronson. John Paul II lost last week at Aucilla Christian by 28 points.
LS: BRANFORD; JB: BRANFORD; LB: BRANFORD; PK: BRANFORD
Idle: Bell, Buchholz, Dixie County, Fort White, Gainesville, Oak Hall, Suwannee, Trenton
Last week: John Boothe 18-0; Laura Bernheim 17-1; Paul Kardasz 17-1; Larry Savage 16-2
Season: Laura 60-5 (.923); John 58-7 (.892); Paul 58-7 (.892); Larry 56-9 (.861)
Gainesville Preps Power Rankings
Area's Top 10
1. Columbia 4-0
2. Gainesville 3-1
3. Union County 4-0
4. Fort White 3-0
5. Dixie County 4-0
6. Lafayette 3-0
7. Chiefland 4-0
8. Buchholz 2-2
9. Trenton 2-1
10. Bronson 4-0
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 (6) (6A) 4-0 – 139
2. Jax Trinity Christian (1) (3A) 3-0 – 134
3. Daytona Mainland (6A) 4-0 – 125
4. Jacksonville Raines (4A) 3-1– 118
5. Neptune Beach Fletcher (8A) 2-1 – 109
6. South Sumter (5A) 4-0 – 102
7. Jacksonville Bolles (4A) 3-1 – 94
8. Jax University Christian (2A) 3-1 – 85
9. Jacksonville Bishop Kenny (5A) 2-0 – 84
9. Jacksonville First Coast (8A) 2-1 – 84
11. Fleming Island (7A) 4-0 – 74
12. Gainesville (6A) 3-1 – 63
13. Jacksonville Sandalwood (8A) 3-1 – 51
14. Ocala Trinity Catholic (3A) 3-1 – 45
15. St. Augustine (6A) 3-1 – 39
16. Union County (1A) 4-0 – 33
17. Daytona Beach Seabreeze (6A) 3-0 – 32
18. Jacksonville Atlantic Coast (7A) 4-0 – 16
19. Dixie County (1A) 4-0 – 15
20. Citrus (6A) 4-0 – 12