Date: November 29th, 2013
Apopka (11-1) at First Coast (Jacksonville) (10-2) | 8A-1 Regional Final | WATCH LIVE
Coming up tonight at 7:30, join myself, Marty Pallman and Chuck Dowling for a Class 8A, Region 1 final as the First Coast Buccaneers host the Apopka Blue Darters. Apopka is the defending 8A state champions and set a state record for points in a season with over 500, and have scored 108 points in their first two playoff games. First Coast was the 7A state runner up two years ago and is 11-1 coming off a road win at Lake Mary last week. It should be a shootout tonight between First Coast and Apopka tonight, live from Jacksonville at 7:30 on the NFHS Network.
Dixie County (Cross City) (10-0) at Trenton (10-1) | 1A State Semifinal | WATCH LIVE
The Trenton Tigers host the Dixie County Bears in the south 1A semifinal. The two teams met earlier in the year in Cross City (week 2) with Coach Brent Wilkerson’s Bears posting a hard fought 18-7 win over Andrew Thomas’ Tigers. Coach Wilkerson will bring his 11-0 team into The Jungle in Trenton on Friday with a trip to the 1A state title game on the line. Coach Thomas’ Tigers sport a 9-1 record and will be looking to avenge the 18 ? 7 early season defeat and go to Orlando for the second consecutive season… Read More
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Date: November 22nd, 2013
Trinity Catholic (8-3) at Trinity Christian (9-1) | Class 3A-Region 1 Finals | LISTEN LIVE
Two teams that are no strangers to state championships meet in Jacksonville. Trinity Catholic won the the 2B state title under coach John Brantley in 2010, knocking off University School 56-55 in three overtimes. The Celtics also won the 2B title in 2005 under former coach and current Jacksonville University head coach Kerwin Bell. Trinity Catholic also lost in the state championship game in 2006 and 08. Trinity Christian won the 1A state title in 2010 under long-time coach Verlon Dorminey. The Conquerors also won 1A championships back-to-back in 2002 and 2003, finishing as runner-up in 2009 and 1999. These two teams last met in the 2006 playoffs, with Trinity Catholic dominating Trinity Christian 45-0 in the 2B regional finals in Jacksonville. Trinity Christian is ranked number one in the state in Class 3A. Trinity Catholic is unranked and trying to become the first Marion County team to beat a top-ranked team on the road. The Celtics haven’t beaten a ranked team on the road since a 46-0 win over Belle Glade Glades Day in 2011. In Trinity Catholic’s 30-13 win over Providence last week in the 3A regional semifinals, running back Johnnie Taylor rushed for 180 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries as the Celtics went over 200 yards rushing for the sixth straight game. Quarterback Reid Carlton threw a pick-six on Trinity Catholic’s opening drive but then rallied to account for 168 total yards and a TD pass. Carlton threw for 1,782 and 16 TD’s but also threw 15 picks during the regular season. The senior signal-caller also rushed for 230 yards and another 5 TD’s. Taylor averaged almost nine yards a carry while rushing for 1,156 yards and 13 scores. The Celtics defense came up big against Providence, led by linebackers Marquis Hendris and Ulysses Gilbert, who combined for 23 tackles and four sacks. Richie Denicola also had an interception for Trinity Catholic last week. Trinity Christian cruised past Father Lopez 49-7 in its opening playoff game. Jalin Buie rushed for 118 yards on only 8 carries, and Gage Morrell scored twice on the ground as six different Conquerors reached the end zone. Quarterback Jacquez Riles threw two TD’s, one to Michael Clark and the other to Isaiah Ford. Gavin Eddins also returned a fumble for a TD as Trinity Christian forced three turnovers and held Father Lopez to 30 yards of offense in the first half. Offensively Trinity Christian gained 366 yards of total offense a game during the regular season, but rushed for almost 1,400 yards more than they passed for. Buie rushed for 1,076 yards and 10 TD’s, with Kevin Toliver chipping in 337 yards and four scores. Toliver also reached the end zone in the win over Father Lopez. Trinity Christian was stout defensively, allowing only 160 yards per game during the regular season, good for third in Northeast Florida. Jeff Holland is the Conquerors defensive leader, with 16 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks in 2013.
Clay (7-4) at Bishop Kenny (10-0) | 5A-Region 1 Semifinals | LISTEN LIVE
Clay got off to a quick start in their regional quarterfinal against Ribault (Jacksonville), which took a wrong turn and didn’t make it to the field until 15 minutes before kickoff. The Blue Devils marched 65 yards on only five plays on their opening possession and scored on a 42-yard run by sophomore Bilal Ally, who finished with 186 yards rushing, en route to a 29-12 win in the regional quarterfinals. There’s no secret to Clay’s offense as they will try to establish the run against Bishop Kenny. Five players have over 500 yards on the ground this season for the Blue Devils, who are back in the playoffs after a one-year absence. Meanwhile the Crusaders doubled up Palatka, 44-22, in their quarterfinal. It was the eighth time in 10 games that the Crusaders had eclipsed the 42-point mark. In fact, since a season-opening four-point win against 6A Bartram Trail, no team has come within double digits of Bishop Kenny. This will mark the second consecutive week that Clay will face a Division I quarterback. Last week it was Ribault’s D.J. Gillins (Wisconsin commit). This week they will have to try and figure out how to slow down John Wolford (East Carolina). Last week, Wolford threw for 355 yards and became the third player in state history to go over the 10,000 yards. That does not bode well for the run-oriented Blue Devils and their defense, which has allowed 21 or more points in every game but two this season and they’ve allowed 30 or more points four times. The winner gets either top-ranked Pensacola Catholic or #5 West Florida.
Date: November 15th, 2013
Sunlake (9-1) at Gainesville (8-2) | 6A-Region 2 Quarterfinals | LISTEN LIVE
About: The defending 6A state runner-up Gainesville Hurricanes have been up and down at times in 2013, but still won another District 5-6A title in Coach Mark Latsko’s first season. Gainesville was blown out 49-7 at Columbia in week one, but then won 8 in a row and clinched their fourth district title in five seasons with a 38-16 win over previously undefeated Citrus on Oct. 25. Senior running back and Oregon commitment Tony James makes the Canes offense go. James rushed for over 1,100 yards and 9 touchdowns with a long of 93 yards and averaging 7.5 yards a carry. James ran for over 200 yards in the win over Citrus. Sophomore quarterback Caelen Christian is solid if not spectacular, throwing for 744 yards with 12 TD’s and 9 INT’s. Senior speedster Kenric Young is Gainesville’s leading receiver with 19 catches for 380 yards and 6 TD’s through the air. Unfortunately Gainesville will be without another offensive weapon as Dontarian Evans went out early in the loss to Wakulla last week and will be out for the Sunlake game. Gainesville has won despite penalty and turnover issues at times, and their defense has been very good again in 2013. Malion Waddell leads the Hurricanes D with 111 tackles, and Jordan Giberti had 13.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. Young is also the leader in the GHS secondary with 5 interceptions. After allowing 49 points in the opening loss to Columbia, Gainesville allowed 88 points in the 8 game winning streak. Gainesville also has wins over Tallahassee Lincoln and Vanguard on the road, as well as winning another city title with easy victories over Buchholz and Eastside. Sunlake comes in 9-1 with the only loss a one point setback, 14-13 at Springstead back on Sept. 20. Unfortunately that one loss cost the Seahawks the District 6-6A title and sent Sunlake on the road for the playoffs. Sunlake has only been a school since 2007, but is 9-1, 10-2, 8-2 and 9-1 in the last four seasons under coach Bill Browning. This is a rematch of the 2011 6A regional semifinals, won by Gainesville 21-14 at Citizens Field.
Palatka (6-4) at Bishop Kenny (9-0) | 5A-Region 1 Quarterfinals | LISTEN LIVE
About: Bishop Kenny (9-0) finished undefeated for the second time in three years. In 2011, the Crusaders went 10-0 but were upset by Creekside 30-27 in 5A regional quarterfinals. Last year BK entered the playoffs as the District 3-5A runner-up but beat Ponte Vedra and Baker County on the road before losing in the 5A regional final to eventual state champion Tallahassee Godby. That was the longest run in the playoffs in school history for Bishop Kenny, as they had previously won only one playoff game. Bishop Kenny is in the postseason for the fifth straight year under Coach Mark Thorson, and also have three district titles in the last four seasons. The Crusaders swept through their 8 team district in 2013, with the closest game a 42-29 win at Ribault on Oct. 4. Bishop Kenny is led by four-year starting quarterback John Wolford, who leads Northeast Florida with 2,426 yards passing with 27 touchdowns and only five interceptions, and has rushed for another 598 yards and nine touchdowns while averaging 10.5 yards a carry. Wolford set the state record for touchdowns passes and completions in Bishop Kenny’s 38-20 district-clinching win over Baker County on Nov. 1. The Crusaders have the number one offense in Northeast Florida, averaging almost 456 yards a game and also lead the area in passing yards with only six turnovers. Running back Cam Singletary is Kenny’s leading rusher with 803 yards and 14 scores, while wide receiver Charles Wade is second in Northeast Florida with 1,024 yards and 13 touchdowns, an average of 21 yards a catch. Bishop Kenny is solid defensively as well, allowing 212 yards a game and is +9 in turnovers. It’s a balanced defense individually, as Josh Johnson leads the Crusaders with 53 tackles, Patrick DePirro with 7 sacks and John Helow chips in with three interceptions. Palatka is in the playoffs for the first time since 2010. The Panthers last won a playoff game in 2002 under long-time coach Jim McCool, and won the 3A state title in 1981 under Robert Lyle. In his second year as Palatka coach, Willie Offord led the Panthers to a runner-up spot in District 4-5A. After starting 2013 with two losses to Vanguard and Trinity Catholic, Palatka won four in a row. The Panthers dropped the next two games, 16-0 to Flagler Palm Coast and 42-31 to Clay, and the Clay loss cost Palatka a shot at the district title. The Panthers rebounded to beat Ponte Vedra and clinch a playoff spot, and upset rival and 6A playoff team St. Augustine 23-20 in triple overtime last week for their first win over the Yellow Jackets since 2003. Palatka will be run, run, run, and run a lot of option at Bishop Kenny led by running back Jatwan Honor. Honor scored the winning TD against St. Augustine a week ago in the third extra period.
FAMU (3-7) at University Christian (8-2) | 2A-Region 1 Semifinals | WATCH LIVE
About: The Christians are the defending 2A state champions and get the Baby Rattlers at home in what should be a comfortable playoff-opening win. UCS has over 2,500 yards on the ground. Senior Tamarius Bowe leads the way with an average of 11.1 yards per carry, followed by sophomore Hussein Howe with 600 yards and nine touchdowns. The strength of the team is defense, which is only allowing 165 yards per game. After a 39-0 loss to Trinity Christian in Week #5, the Christians rolled to a 5-0 mark in which they outscored their opponents, 285-19.
Union County (9-1) at Crescent City (6-4) | 1A-Region 4 Semifinals | LISTEN LIVE
The Tigers will have to be road warriors during the state playoffs. They managed to win their final three district games to get in as the District 7-1A runners-up behind Dixie County, which defeated Union County, 30-12, on Oct. 4. They are led by quarterback Caleb Cox, who has thrown for 1,318 yards, 11 TDs and only four interceptions, and running back Daquin Edwards, who has 691 yards on the ground and nine scores. The Tigers averaged 40 points per game following the loss to the Bears, who they could face in the regional finals. The Raiders won their three-team district (8-1A) by going 2-0, but they were blown out by 3A First Academy (Orlando), 55-13, in the season finale. However, they played five teams that are playing in the postseason (3A Providence, 2A Harvest Community, 2A Victory Christian Academy, 2A Agape Christian Academy and 1A Wildwood).
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