HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES OF THE WEEK

Hurricanes' James no stranger to delivering big game


Gainesville's Tony James runs into the end zone past Vanguard's Michael Mitchell at Booster Stadium in Ocala on Friday, Oct. 18, 2013.

Bruce Ackerman/Staff photographer
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, October 21, 2013 at 5:55 p.m.

When it comes to big games, usually big-time players put on big-time performances.

Gainesville's Tony James did just that in Ocala against Vanguard on Friday night in football.

The senior speedster, who has committed to Oregon, ran for 182 yards and scored two touchdowns, one for 77 yards, in a convincing 35-6 win over the Knights, clinching the Hurricanes' fifth straight state playoff berth.

“He ran the football incredible,” said GHS first-year coach Mark Latsko. “We were up 21-6 and he breaks that long one deep from own territory to pretty much put the game away.

“We did a better job up front blocking for him, and he broke through many tackles.”

James, an elite sprinter in track, has shown this season he can run between the tackles as well as get to the outside for long runs. He had a key 93-yard touchdown run earlier in the season as the 'Canes rallied to beat Madison County at Citizens Field.

“He gained most of his yards on Friday running off tackles, putting his helmet down and breaking through,” Latsko said. “It definitely wasn't just jet sweeps, but he has that ability to get to the outside and use his speed. Teams game plan against him, but we were able to do a lot of misdirection. Faking it to Tony and giving it to Dontarian Evans, who also ran well.”

Gainesville can clinch its second straight district title on Friday against unbeaten Citrus at Citizens Field.

Football

Anton Noble, Keystone Heights: The junior ran for 177 yards on 27 carries with two TDs, also scored on an 85-yard kickoff return and averaged 39.3 yards on three punts in the Indians' 40-13 district win at The Villages.

Volleyball

Jac'cara Walker, P.K. Yonge: In three wins last week over Middleburg, Ocala Forest and Buchholz, the sophomore had 46 kills, 42 digs, 25 service points, 9 aces and 3 blocks for the 24-1 Blue Wave.

Golf

Taylor Tomlinson, Oak Hall: The senior shot an 8-under 64 at Haile Plantation Golf and Country Club to be low medalist for the fourth straight season at the District 6-1A tournament. The UF commit shot 28 on the front nine holes.

Cross County

Naomi Peng, Eastside: The freshman ran 22:43 at the Buchholz Last Chance meet at Santa Fe College

Swimming

Julian Hill, P.K. Yonge: The seventh grader was a double winner in a meet with Columbia, winning both the 500 free and 100 breaststroke.

HONORABLE MENTION

Football

Malachi Lofland, Eastside: The sophomore ran for 71 yards and four TDs, and also caught two passes for 17 yards and another TD in the Rams' 36-7 district win over Crystal River.

Buddy Edwards, Union County: The senior ran for 98 yards on 12 carries and scored two TDs in the Tigers' 49-14 district win over Newberry.

Alden McClellon, Union County: The junior had 13 tackles, three sacks and one punt block in the Tigers' win over Newberry.

Melvin Adams, Trenton: The senior ran for 181 yards on just 12 carries with four TDs, also returned a fumble for a score and had an interception in the Tigers' 54-12 win over Hawthorne, clinching their third straight district title.

Tray Presley, Santa Fe: The senior ran for 149 yards and four TDs in the Raiders' 40-27 win over Belleview.

Marcus Archer, Santa Fe: The senior quarterback ran for 124 yards and a TD in the Raiders' win.

John Demaris, Lafayette: The senior defensive end had 10 tackles, three for loss, and two sacks in the Hornets' 21-12 win at Jefferson County.

Volleyball

Mariah Sapp, Newberry: The junior setter, who returned to the court after missing much of the season with an injury, had 96 assists, 24 service points, 7 aces, 23 digs and 3 kills for the Panthers.

Kate Hellkamp, Buchholz: The sophomore setter had 13 digs, 25 assists and one block in last week's match at P.K. Yonge.

Sky Martin, Oak Hall: In 3 matches, the junior outside hitter had 28 kills, 34 digs, 11 service points and four aces for the Eagles, who host the District 3-3A tournament beginning Tuesday.

Golf

Brian Stockman, St. Francis: The senior shot even-par 72 in winning low medalist and leading St. Francis to its second straight title at the District 6-1A boys tournament at Haile Golf and Country Club.

Chandler Blanchet, Buchholz: The senior shot 70 at the District 2-3A tournament at Seminole Golf Course in Tallahassee, tying for third overall in the district. The Bobcats finished second as a team and will play in Tuesday's Region 1 tournament, also at Seminole Golf Course.

Cross country

Grant Berg, Eastside: The senior ran 18:58 at the Buchholz Last Chance meet at Santa Fe College.

Athletes of the week are determined by nominations from area coaches. Coaches are asked to call in every Monday to (352) 374-5050 between 12-4 p.m.

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