But you have to win the first one before you can think of a repeat, and Trinity Christian did just that in 2013, winning the 3A state football championship. And that makes the Conquerors the unanimous number one team in final Prep Zone Football Power Poll for 2013.
Trinity Christian (12-1) rolled through the 3A playoffs, winning all four playoff games by an average of 27 points a game. The Conquerors closest game was a come-from-behind 20-11 win over Tampa Catholic in the 3A semifinals. Trinity Christian rolled over Clearwater Central Catholic 34-7 in the 3A state championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando to clinch the Conquerors first state title since 2010 and fourth overall under coach Verlon Dorminey.
Mainland (Daytona Beach) finished second after a run to the 6A state semifinals. The Bucs (12-2) lost to nationally-ranked Central (Miami) 28-15 in the state semifinals. Central averaged 55 points and won it’s other four playoff games by an average of almost 40 points a game on the way to the 6A state title. Mainland’s only other loss was 6-0 at eventual 5A state champion American Heritage (Plantation) during the regular season. First Coast (Jacksonville) finished third. Marty Lee’s Buccaneers (11-2) moved up from Class 7A to 8A in 2013 but won another district title and captured two playoff wins before being eliminated by eventual 8A runner-up and defending state champion Apopka 42-20 in the regional final round.
South Sumter (Bushnell) finished fourth after rolling to a district title and undefeated regular season. The Raiders (12-1) season ended with a 27-21 loss to Lakewood (St. Petersburg) in the Class 5A regional final. Bolles (Jacksonville) rounds out the top five. The Bulldogs struggled through a three-loss regular season, including finishing as the runner-up in District 3-4A. But Corky
Rogers’ Bulldogs (10-4) made it back to the 4A state championship game for the third year in a row, losing to the number one team in the country Booker T. Washington (Miami) 40-21.
The Class 1A state champion Trenton Tigers start the second five. Trenton (12-1) finishes sixth after beating Blountstown 14-0 to win the first state football title for the Gainesville area since Chiefland took home the 2A crown in 1997. Trenton, 1A state runners-up in 2012, beat previously undefeated Dixie County (Cross City) 17-14 in the state semifinals to advance back to Orlando. Since the FHSAA introduced the rural Class 1A in 2011, Trenton has the best record at 36-3. Bishop Kenny finished seventh after losing a classic in the 5A regional semifinals to eventual 5A runner-up Clay (Green Cove Springs) 74-73. The game set the state record for total points in any regulation football game in Florida high school history. In his final game, Bishop Kenny quarterback John Wolford accumulated 773 total yards and 10 total touchdowns.
Fletcher (Neptune Beach) comes in 8th after losing in the 7A regional finals to eventual runner-up Niceville. Fletcher won two more playoff games on the road this year and is 7-2 on the road in the postseason since 2011. Columbia (Lake City) was in the top ten of the power poll most of the season and finishes ninth after being knocked out by Bartram Trail (St. Johns) 29-24 in the 6A regional semifinals. Clay rounds out the top ten after advancing to the 5A state championship game. The Blue Devils had a magical run to Orlando, knocking off Bishop Kenny 74-73, Pensacola Catholic 9-7 and Lakewood 40-38 before being blown out by American Heritage (Plantation) 66-8 in the state title game. Clay was only 6-4 during the regular season but the playoff run gets them into the top ten of the final power poll.
Among the highlights of the second ten is Bartram Trail, who finishes 13th. The Bears started the season 0-5, then ripped off eight wins in a row to advance to the 6A state semifinals, where they were eliminated in a triple OT thriller by Armwood (Seffner) 35-28. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (10-1) comes in 14th after losing its only game of the season in the 7A regional quarterfinals to Oak Ridge (Orlando) 48-41 in overtime. Dixie County finishes in a tie for 15th with Gainesville. The Bears lost their only game of the season to Trenton. Union County (Lake Butler) rounds out the poll at #20. The Tigers were eliminated by Dixie County 30-20 in the 1A regional final.
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, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters. This is the last poll until the FHSAA Football Finals have been completed.
PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2013 FOOTBALL POLL #14 – FINAL POLL
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, final record and total voting points)
1. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (7) (3A) (12-1) – 140
2. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (12-2) – 127
3. First Coast (Jacksonville) (8A) (11-2) – 121
4. South Sumter (Bushnell) (5A) (12-1) – 107
5. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (10-4) – 98
6. Trenton (1A) (12-1) – 94
7. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (10-1) – 92
8. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (7A) (10-3) – 81
9. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (10-2) – 80
10. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (10-5) – 76
11. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-3) – 71
12. Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (11-2) – 60
13. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (6A) (8-6) – 59
14. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (7A) (10-1) – 48
15T Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (10-1) – 47
15T Gainesville (6A) (9-3) – 47
17. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (9-3) – 30
18. North Marion (Sparr) (5A) (9-3) – 28
19. Warner Christian (South Daytona) (2A) (9-2) – 22
20. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (10-2) – 18
Also receiving votes: Ed White (Jacksonville) (6A) (8-3) – 15; Leesburg (6A) (8-4) – 2; Citrus (Inverness) (6A) (9-2) – 2; Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (8-3) – 4; Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (8-4) – 1.