GAINESVILLE — The opening week of the high school football playoffs saw some teams win easily, while others were sent home earlier than they planned.
Three top 10 teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll were knocked off in the first week of the postseason. However, the top two teams won, and now there is a tie for first in the poll.
Top-ranked Vanguard (Ocala) eased past then-#16 Gainesville, 34-14, in their Region 2-6A quarterfinal to advance to a second round game this week at Mitchell (New Port Richey). The Knights (10-0) receive five of the eight first-place votes and remain No. 1 for the sixth consecutive week.
But Vanguard has company at the top this week.
St. Augustine received the other three first-place votes and moves up one spot into a tie for #1. The Yellow Jackets easily rolled past Tate (Cantonment), 49-14, in their Region 1-6A quarterfinal. St. Augustine (10-0) hosts Navarre this week in the regional semifinals.
Remaining third is Madison County. The Cowboys (11-0) pounded Union County (Lake Butler), 50-6, in a 1A region semifinal and face a tough test this week in a Region 3-1A final against 8th-ranked and unbeaten Dixie County (Cross City). Both teams are ranked top five in the state in the AP 1A rankings.
Raines (Jacksonville) is up a spot to 4th after blanking North Bay Haven (Panama City), 43-0, in a Region 1-4A semifinal. Next up for the Vikings (10-1) is a region final game against #T-19 West Nassau (Callahan).
Rounding out the top five is Trinity Christian (Jacksonville).
The 4-time defending state champion Conquerors (8-3) survived a thriller in a 5A region quarterfinal with then-#13 Bolles (Jacksonville), finally winning 24-21 in a third overtime after Bolles missed a potential winning field goal in the second OT. Trinity Christian faces a tough test this week in the region semifinals at Godby (Tallahassee).
Bartram Trail (St. Johns) moves up two spots to #6 after a 56-14 romp over East Ridge (Clermont).
The Bears (8-3) face Lincoln (Tallahassee) in a Region 1-7A semifinal on Friday. Lincoln eliminated then-#12 Columbia (Lake City), 36-33, last week in a thriller in Tallahassee.
Baker County (Glen St. Mary) is 7th. The Wildcats (10-1) moved up two spaces after their 10th straight win, 34-7 over RV Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) in a 5A region quarterfinal.
Next up is #18 Menendez (St. Augustine) in a Region 2-5A semifinal. Menendez moved into the poll for the first time this year after a 38-24 win at Belleview.
Moving up three spots and into the top 10 for the first time this season is Dixie County at #8. The Bears (11-0) romped over Lafayette (Mayo), 49-7, in a Region 3-1A semifinal and now face the top-ranked team in 1A according to the AP, Madison County, at Boot Hill this Friday.
Dunnellon (8-2) is back in the top 10 at #9. The Tigers trounced Trenton 49-7 in a Region 2-3A semifinal, and travel to Starke this week to face #16 Bradford in a region final matchup.
Moving up five spots to round out the top 10 is Mainland (Daytona Beach).
The Bucs (7-3) knocked off Norland (Miami) 21-12 in a 6A region quarterfinal. The task for Mainland only gets tougher this week as they play defending 6A state champion Carol City (Miami) in a Region 4-6A semifinal.
The biggest move up this week belongs to Fleming Island (Orange Park), which is up from 18th a week ago to 11th this week.
The Golden Eagles (9-2) ended the season of then-#4 Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville), 31-26, at The Backyard in a 7A region quarterfinal. Next up for Fleming Island is a trip to Edgewater (Orlando) in a Region 1-7A semifinal. Lee (9-2) drops eight spots this week to 12th.
Two other top 10 teams from a week ago saw their seasons come to an end.
Flagler Palm Coast, which was #6 a week ago, was eliminated by Boone (Orlando), 28-13, in an 8A region quarterfinal and drops nine places to 15th this week.
Another 8A school, Spruce Creek (Port Orange), which was 10th last week, saw its season come to an end, 42-14 at Winter Park, and drops out of the poll completely.
Also dropping out from last week is Gainesville and Ribault (Jacksonville).
The Trojans were 20th last week but were blanked by Wakulla (Crawfordville), 26-0, in a Region 1-5A quarterfinal.
Moving back into the poll this week, along with Menendez, is Bradford (Starke), which defeated Keystone Heights, 27-7, in a 4A region semifinal, and West Nassau (Callahan).
The Warriors (9-1) also move into the poll for the first time in 2017 after routing Marianna, 35-7, in their playoff opener.
This is the final poll until after the FHSAA State Football Championships at Camping World Stadium in Orlando (Dec. 7-9).
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 Central 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. It is fueled by Divine Power Wear.
The Prep Zone Power Poll fueled by Divine Power Wear – 2017 Football Poll #13
(School, followed by classification, first place votes, overall record, and total voting points)
T-1. Vanguard (Ocala) (6A) (5) (10-0) – 155
T-1. St. Augustine (6A) (3) (10-0) – 155
3. Madison County (1A) (11-0) – 142
4. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (10-1) – 138
5. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (5A) (8-3) – 123
6. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (8-3) – 121
7. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (10-1) – 118
8. Dixie County (Cross City) (1A) (11-0) – 97
9. Dunnellon (4A) (8-2) – 86
10. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (7-3) – 81
11. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (7A) (9-2) – 80
12. Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) (7A) (9-2) – 62
13. Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (8-3) – 54
14. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (8-2) – 52
15. Flagler Palm Coast (8A) (9-1) – 47
16. Bradford (Starke) (4A) (9-1) – 42
17. Bolles (Jacksonville) (5A) (8-3) – 38
18. Menendez (St. Augustine) (5A) (8-3) – 22
T-19. Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (7-4) – 19
T-19. West Nassau (Callahan) (4A) (9-1) – 19
Also receiving votes: Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (8A) (8-2) – 16; Gainesville (6A) (8-3) – 5; Taylor County (Perry) (3A) (8-3) – 4; Seven RIvers Christian (Lecanto) (2A) (9-2) – 2; Wildwood (1A) (9-1) – 1.