P.K. Yonge travels to unbeaten The Villages in the second round of the 4A state playoffs
By Marco Martinez
Twitter – @MarcoJMartinez_
P.K Yonge (Gainesville) Blue Wave
Coach: Marcus McDonald
Key Players: #1 Jacoby Byrd (JR., WR/FS), #2 Israel Wilcox (SR., RB/CB), #4 Carter Kutchko (SR., QB), #6 Pernell Sylvester (SR., RB/OLB), #7 Jacari Byrd (JR., WR/SS), #10 Quintin Williams (SR, WR), #17 Deontae Mavin (JR., WR/DB)
Outlook: The Blue Wave came back from a third quarter deficit to defeat the Bradford (Starke) Tornadoes, 36-22, in their first playoff game since 2004. They’re now one of three playoff teams left standing in Alachua County (Hawthorne & Santa Fe). This win concludes the first round of playoff action and they’ll move on to the Region 2 semifinals of Class 4A playoffs to take on the number one seeded The Villages Charter Buffaloes on Friday night. The Blue Wave will continue to utilize their offensive prowl against this prominent team. Running backs Israel Wilcox and Pernell Sylvester are dominating their opponents defensive line either in the trenches or off bubble screens. Furthermore, the defense has made some huge stops, including last game against Bradford. The Tornadoes were dominating the running game off Jeremiah Vaughn’s 158 yards, but when it came down to the wire, the Blue Wave held the Tornadoes to zero points in the fourth quarter to secure their huge victory. Junior linebacker Grant Dycus was awarded the Gainesville Quarterback Club Defensive Player of the Year award this past week, which further emphasizes their relentless effort on taking down opponent offenses. However, they’ll be facing a Buffaloes team who have yet to lose a single game this season and have had two weeks rest to their advantage.
The Villages Charter Buffaloes
Coach: Richard Pettus
Key Players: #2 Mac Harris (JR., QB/WR), #4 Marcus Wright (JR., WR), #5 Bryce Mellado (JR., RB/FS), #11 Corey Goldwire (SO., WR/OLB)
Outlook: The Villages finished off their best regular season in school history just two weeks ago and look to continue that 10-game winning streak this Friday night against a tough PK Yonge team. The Villages had four shutout games in their 10 wins on the season, showing their talent on defense. In their game against Lecanto back in late September, they held the Panthers to negative yards defeating them, 35-0. Mac Harris will be all over the field in this upcoming game, just like he has been all season for the Buffaloes. The young junior sensation is a key component to their offense and their lucky to have him for one more season. All in all, head coach Richard Pettus must be extremely ecstatic to be in the playoffs this year and not having to rely on PPR like he did last year, which eventually cost them a playoff berth by .10 to Keystone Heights. Expect this game to be low scoring due to great defenses on both sides. The Blue Wave are 3-1 when in opponent territory, which gives the upper hand to the Buffaloes. Nonetheless, there will be a lot of running in this game, and I mean a lot. Of course, both coaches will look deep into their playbook and eventually throw some play-action trick passes to throw the opponents off their groove. The team with less mistakes will win this tough and grinded out match-up.
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: The Villages
Prediction: PKY 23 – 30 The Villages