GAINESVILLE — It was back to football last week after most teams had their games canceled the week before due to Hurricane Matthew.
Week eight saw some huge district matchups, but in the end there was no change in the top five of The Prep Zone Power Poll.
Mainland (Daytona Beach) is once again the unanimous top-ranked team, as they have been in every poll since the preseason.
The Bucs (7-0) easily took care of their biggest District 13-6A test with a 41-0 romp at Matanzas (Palm Coast), which was undefeated and receiving votes in the previous poll two weeks ago. They received all 10 first place votes.
Remaining second is another undefeated team in Vanguard (Ocala). The Knights (6-0) are close to wrapping up another playoff spot after routing Gainesville 56-7 last week. They still have District 5-6A games left against Lake Weir (Ocala) this Friday and then rival Forest (Ocala), which is also undefeated, on October 28.
The loss by Gainesville meant the Purple Hurricanes would miss the playoffs for the first time since 2008.
Remaining third is Bolles (Jacksonville). The Bulldogs improved to 6-0 with a 69-27 romp over Keys Gate (Homestead).
Bolles seems to be headed for a District 2-4A showdown with another undefeated team, #5 Raines (Jacksonville).
Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) remains fourth after a come-from-behind 34-20 win over 8A Fort Pierce Central. The three-time defending 3A state champion Conquerors (5-2) clinched another playoff berth as Episcopal (Jacksonville) eliminated Providence (Jacksonville) with a 21-7 win.
Trinity Christian will face Episcopal (Jacksonville) for the District 2-3A title on October 28, but first a showdown this Friday with IMG Academy (Bradenton), which is ranked second in the country according to MaxPreps.
Raines rounds out the top five. The Vikings (5-0) knocked off Godby, 32-14, in Tallahassee.
Mandarin (Jacksonville) leads off the second five. The Mustangs (5-0) rallied from a 24-0 deficit for a huge District 2-8A win, 34-31, over previously undefeated and then #6 Sandalwood (Jacksonville). The Saints (5-1) drop four spots but stay in the top 10 as the 10th-ranked team.
Dunnellon (6-0) is 7th after pounding Umatilla, 60-6. The Tigers host 16th-ranked South Sumter (Bushnell) this Friday in a showdown for the District 4-4A title.
Madison County (7-0), which is ranked No. 1 in the AP Class 1A state poll, is 8th after rolling past Lafayette (Mayo), 55-7, in a District 5-1A game.
Ponte Vedra moves up to ninth after a 28-21 road win at Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville). With the win, the Sharks (6-0) wrap up the District 4-5A championship and become one of the first teams in the area to win a district title.
Baker County (Glen St. Mary) just missed out on the top 10 but remains 11th after a 42-12 win over Orange Park. The Wildcats (6-0) host Clay (Green Cove Springs) this week for the District 5-5A title.
New to the poll this week is Nature Coast (Brooksville), which moves in at No. 20 and stays unbeaten at 7-0 after destroying Lecanto, 68-14.
Falling out is Bartram Trail (St. Johns), which dropped to 4-3 after a 17-10 District 3-7A loss to #13 Buchholz (Gainesville).
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 powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.
The Prep Zone Power Poll – 2016 Football Poll #8
(School, followed by classification, first place votes, overall record, and total voting points).
1. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (10) (7-0) – 200
2. Vanguard (Ocala) (6A) (6-0) – 189
3. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (6-0) – 178
4. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (5-2) – 173
5. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (5-0) – 154
6. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (8A) (5-0) – 152
7. Dunnellon (4A) (6-0) – 139
8. Madison County (1A) (6-0) – 124
9. Ponte Vedra (5A) (6-0) – 116
10. Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (5-1) – 115
11. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (6-0) – 104
12. St. Augustine (6A) (6-1) – 82
13. Buchholz (Gainesville) (7A) (4-2) – 78
14. Lee (Jacksonville) (7A) (4-1) – 73
15. Trenton (1A) (5-1) – 63
16. South Sumter (Bushnell) (4A) (6-1) – 42
17. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (7A) (6-0) – 32
18. Newberry (1A) (6-1) – 31
19. University (Orange City) (8A) (5-3) – 19
20. Nature Coast (Brooksville) (5A) (7-0) – 14
Also receiving votes: Forest (Ocala) (6A) (6-0) – 13; Middleburg (6A) (4-3) – 4; Clay (Green Cove Springs) (5A) (5-2) – 2; Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (4-3) – 1; Bradford (Starke) (4A) (5-1) – 1; Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (7-0) – 1.