Prep Zone Power Poll 2014 – Countdown to #1 (No. 2)

2We’re counting down to the #1 team in the preseason football Prep Zone Power Poll with a look today at No. 2.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball, baseball & softball teams (regardless of FHSAA classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters.

No. 2 Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (12-2) 

The Bucs have made 20 consecutive postseason appearances.  Last year, they went 3-1 in the 6A playoffs and lost to eventual 6A state champion Miami Central, 28-15, in the state semifinals.

Converted wide receiver Denzel Houston takes over at quarterback as a sophomore so the Bucs shouldn’t miss a beat as they aim for a state title. He is 6-foot-0, 190 pounds and very quick. Houston is surrounded by 15 starters who are back.  Junior running back Adrian Killins ran a 10.65 track time in the 100 and could be a breakout back. Seniors Kaylo Hannah and Wilfred Taylor are proven receivers with more speed. Four starters are back on the offensive line, with senior Rashad Harris a three-year starter at center.

The defense, which was dominant in 2013, is loaded with playmakers. Linebacker Marcus Brunson had 135 tackles, including 25 for loss and 13 sacks as a down lineman his junior year. Junior Kevin McCrary and senior Phillip Haire combined for another 33 tackles for loss.

Mainland, which begins the season ranked third in the Class 6A AP state poll, will play a challenging schedule to help them get ready for another long postseason run.  The Bucs travel to 5A No. 4 Lake Wales and host 5A No. 1 American Heritage (Plantation) in September, and they close out the season at 8A No. 7 Fort Pierce Central.

Info gathered from Friday Night Football magazine.

Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Football Poll #1 – PRESEASON POLL
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, 2013 final record and total voting points)

1. TBA – Tuesday, August 26
2. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (12-2) – 184
3. First Coast (Jacksonville) (8A) (11-2) – 181
4. South Sumter (Bushnell) (5A) (12-1) – 162
5. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (10-4) – 157
6. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (10-2) – 139
7. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (7A) (10-3) – 134
8. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (10-5) – 116
9. Trenton (1A) (12-1) – 111
10. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-3) – 92
11. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (7A) (10-1) – 89
12. North Marion (Citra) (5A) (9-3) – 78
13T Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (10-1) – 69
13T Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (8-4) – 69
15. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (6A) (8-6) – 56
16. Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (11-2) – 52
17. St. Augustine (6A) (8-3) – 46
18. Ed White (Jacksonville) (6A) (8-3) – 31
19. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (10-1) – 29
20. Warner Christian (South Daytona) (2A) (9-2) – 19

Also receiving votes: University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (9-3) – 18; Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (8-3) – 16; Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (10-2) – 14; Gainesville (6A) (9-3) – 9; Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (7-3) – 6; Leesburg (6A) (8-4) – 5; Seabreeze (Daytona Beach) (6A) (7-3) – 4; Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (7-3) – 4; Menendez (St. Augustine) (5A) (8-3) – 4; Fort White (4A) (7-2) – 3; Citrus (Inverness) (6A) (9-2) – 2; Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (8-3) – 1.