Trinity Christian (Jacksonville), which won the area’s only state title, finishes on top for the 2nd straight year; Mainland (Daytona Beach) finishes 2nd
Gainesville – They began on top, and they finished on top of the final football Prep Zone Power Poll.
Defending 3A state champion Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) was ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll, including a national ranking, but the Conquerors lost two games to nationally-ranked teams during the regular season before winning their final seven games to win back-to-back Class 3A state titles and end the season as the No. 1 team in the final regional rankings.
The Conquerors (11-2) defeated American Heritage (Delray Beach), 27-7, in the state championship game. It was the second time that Trinity Christian has won back-to-back state titles (2002-03) and the school’s fifth overall. The Class 3A-District 2 champions finished undefeated against 3A competition.
The team that was top-ranked for most of the season finishes second. In a match-up of nationally-ranked teams, Mainland (Daytona Beach) lost to eventual 6A state champion Miami Central, 31-21, in the state semifinals for the third time in the past four years. The Bucs (13-1), the 6A-District 9 champs, led the Rockets 14-3 in the second quarter before losing the game in the second half.
Trinity Christian received nine of the 10 first-place votes, with Mainland receiving the other first-place vote. The two were separated by just nine total voting points, 199-190.
First Coast (Jacksonville) finished third. The Class 8A Bucs (12-1) lost to eventual state champion Apopka, 64-48, in the regional finals. It was another undefeated regular season and 8A-District 1 title for First Coast, which was led by quarterback De’Andre Johnson, an FSU commit who was recently named Florida’s Mr. Football.
For the second straight year and the third time in the past four seasons, Bolles (Jacksonville) lost to Raines (Jacksonville) in the regular season but advanced to the 4A state title game, where they lost to Booker T. Washington (Miami), 54-35. The 4A-District 3 runner-up Bulldogs (10-3) were road warriors again, knocking off Umatilla, No. 14 Raines, and No. 15 Madison County in reaching the title game for the fourth straight year.
Suwannee (Live Oak) and Oakleaf (Orange Park) are both tied for fifth, after both programs had banner seasons. The Bulldogs advanced to their first state semifinal since 1999, while the Knights went unbeaten during the regular season for the first time in school history.
Class 5A-District 5 champion Suwannee, which won its first district title since 2003, lost to eventual state runner-up Godby (Tallahassee), 48-14, in the 5A state semifinals. The Bulldogs (12-2) knocked off previously unbeaten and 5A No. 1 South Sumter (Bushnell) on the road in the regional semifinals.
Meanwhile, the Knights (12-1) lost to eventual 7A state semifinalist Niceville, 35-0, in the regional finals. In only its fifth year as a school, Oakleaf won its first district title (7A-3) and first-ever playoff game against Wekiva (Apopka), 17-14, in the regional quarterfinals.
South Sumter (11-1) dropped from fourth to seventh following the loss to Suwannee. The 5A-District 6 champions finished unbeaten during the regular season for the third straight season.
Class 3A-District 2 champion Trinity Catholic (Ocala) is eighth. The Celtics (9-2), who set a Marion County record with their 26th straight district win, lost to top-ranked Trinity Christian, 21-10, in the second round of the 3A state playoffs after carrying a 10-7 lead at the half. Trinity Catholic also lost by only three during the regular season to 3A No. 1 & state semifinalist Clearwater Central Catholic.
Clay (Green Cove Springs), last year’s 5A state runner-up, finished ninth. The Blue Devils (10-2) lost to No. 13 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), 34-26, in the regional semifinals. The 5A-District 4 champions’ other loss was during the regular season at No. 5 Oakleaf.
Rounding out the top 10 is Ed White (Jacksonville). The 6A-District 3 champion Commanders (10-3), who defeated No. 11 St. Augustine in the second round of the 6A playoffs, lost on the road to eventual 6A state semifinalist Choctawhatchee (Fort Walton Beach), 38-14, in the regional finals. Their only losses during the regular season came against #3 First Coast & #14 Raines.
Hamilton County (Jasper) (10-4), which lost to Port St. Joe, 16-0, in the 1A state title game, is ranked 11th, along with St. Augustine (10-2), followed by Bishop Kenny (10-2), Raines (8-4) & Madison County (9-4) at 13th-15th, respectively.
Class 1A state semifinalist Dixie County (Cross City) (11-1) is ranked 16th, followed by 1A region finalist Trenton (10-2) and 5A region quarterfinalist North Marion (Citra), who are tied for 17th, followed by No. 19 Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (7-5), which lost in the second round of the 7A state playoffs, and Union County (Lake Butler) (9-3), one of four 1A schools in the poll.
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.
Prep Zone Power Poll – 2014 Football Poll #14 FINAL
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, final record, and total voting points)
1. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (9) (3A) (11-2) – 199
2. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (1) (6A) (13-1) – 190
3. First Coast (Jacksonville) (8A) (12-1) – 173
4. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (10-3) – 169
T5 Oakleaf (Orange Park) (7A) (12-1) – 147
T5 Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (12-2) – 147
7. South Sumter (Bushnell) (5A) (11-1) – 133
8. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (9-2) – 123
9. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (10-2) – 116
10. Ed White (Jacksonville) (6A) (10-3) – 106
T11 St. Augustine (6A) (10-2) – 89
T11 Hamilton County (Jasper) (1A) (10-4) – 89
13. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (10-2) – 80
14. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (8-4) – 68
15. Madison County (4A) (9-4) – 67
16. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (11-1) – 62
T17 Trenton (1A) (10-2) – 37
T17 North Marion (Citra) (5A) (8-3) – 37
19. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (7A) (7-5) – 13
20. Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (9-3) – 12
Also receiving votes: Flagler Palm Coast (8A) (8-3) – 8; Gainesville (6A) (7-6) – 8; Warner Christian (South Daytona) (2A) (6-5) – 5; University (Orange City) (8A) (8-2) – 4; Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (8-3) – 3; DeLand (8A) (7-4) – 3.