GAINESVILLE — One big week of district play down, one more week to go this week for high school football teams in the 26 counties of The Prep Zone listening and viewing area.
Some teams clinched district titles, others will have to wait until this week, and even others have some work to do now to make the postseason.
As for the unanimous #1 team again this week in The Prep Zone Power Poll, Mainland (Daytona Beach), they have their district championship and postseason berth easily wrapped up.
The Bucs (8-0) received all 10 first place votes once again after wrapping up the District 13-6A title with a 63-7 romp at New Smyrna Beach.
They have been the top team in each regional ranking since the preseason poll, when Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) was the #1 team.
Vanguard (Ocala) remained second. The Knights (7-0) clinched a playoff berth with a 56-6 win at Lake Weir (Ocala). They host city rival and fellow unbeaten #20 Forest (Ocala) this week for the District 5-6A title.
Staying third is Bolles (Jacksonville). The Bulldogs improved to 7-0 and clinched another postseason spot with a 56-0 whitewashing of Fernandina Beach.
This week brings the annual clash for the District 2-4A championship between Bolles and #4 Raines (Jacksonville). The Vikings set up the battle between the two unbeaten teams and also clinched at least a postseason berth as they waltzed past West Nassau (Callahan), 40-6.
Falling one place but rounding out the top five is Trinity Christian.
The Conquerors (5-3) led 7-6 at halftime against the consensus #1 team in the country, IMG Academy (Bradenton), before falling to the Ascenders, 34-21. Trinity Christian has an even bigger game this week, as they travel across Jacksonville to play 8-0 Episcopal for the District 2-3A championship.
Madison County moves up two spots to lead off the second 10. The Class 1A Cowboys improved to 7-0 with a 27-13 win over 3A Taylor County (Perry). They join Mainland (6A) as the only two area teams ranked No. 1 in the AP state football rankings.
Ponte Vedra also moves up two places to 7th after a wild 48-45 win over St. Johns County rival Bartram Trail (St. Johns). The Sharks (7-0) had already wrapped up the District 4-5A title with a win at Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) the week before, and against the 7A Bears survived a back-and-forth shootout, staying undefeated as Chris Howard booted a 42-yard field goal at the final gun.
Moving up three spots to 8th is another unbeaten team which wrapped up a district title in Baker County (Glen St. Mary). The Wildcats improved to 7-0 and clinched the District 5-5A crown with a 28-14 win over RV Clay (Green Cove Springs).
Baker County closes district play this week at Ridgeview (Orange Park) before a showdown with Madison County in the final week of the regular season.
St. Augustine also moves up three places to #9 after clinching another postseason trip with an easy 34-14 win over rival Nease (Ponte Vedra), which beat the Yellow Jackets a year ago. St. Augustine (7-1) travels to surprising Middleburg this Friday for the 6A-4 district championship.
The biggest move up this week belongs to South Sumter (Bushnell), which advances six spots to round out the top 10. The Raiders (7-1) won at previously undefeated and then-#7 Dunnellon, 21-15, to take control of District 4-4A.
Dunnellon (6-1) drops seven places to 14th.
Mandarin (Jacksonville) suffered its first loss of the season, 42-19 at Spruce Creek (Port Orange), and tumbled out of the top 10 to No. 11. The Mustangs (5-1) can still win the District 1-8A title with a win this week over Flagler Palm Coast, and some help.
Right behind the Mustangs is Sandalwood (Jacksonville), which was off but dropped out of the top 10 to #12. Sandalwood (6-1) dropped its first game of the season the previous week, blowing a 24-0 lead in losing at Mandarin, 34-31.
Among the other teams in the second 10 clinching district championships are #13 Buchholz (Gainesville) in 7A-3 and 16th-ranked Trenton in 1A-7.
Newberry (7-1) stays 18th this week but wrapped up the runner-up playoff spot behind Trenton in District 7-1A by rallying past Dixie County (Cross City), 24-20.
New to the poll is Forest (Ocala) at #20. The Wildcats (6-0) play for the 6A-5 district title at Ocala rival Vanguard this week.
Fletcher (Neptune Beach) dropped its first game of the season, 27-7 at District 2-7A opponent Columbia (Lake City), and that loss knocks the Senators (6-1) out of 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 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 #9
(School, followed by classification, first place votes, overall record, and total voting points).
1. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (10) (8-0) – 200
2. Vanguard (Ocala) (6A) (7-0) – 190
3. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (7-0) – 179
4. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (6-0) – 165
5. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (3A) (5-3) – 162
6. Madison County (1A) (7-0) – 146
7. Ponte Vedra (5A) (7-0) – 132
8. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (7-0) – 129
9. St. Augustine (6A) (7-1) – 110
10. South Sumter (Bushnell) (4A) (7-1) – 100
11. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (8A) (5-1) – 92
12. Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (6-1) – 91
13. Buchholz (Gainesville) (7A) (5-2) – 77
14. Dunnellon (4A) (6-1) – 69
15. Lee (Jacksonville) (7A) (5-1) – 64
16. Trenton (1A) (6-1) – 56
17. Nature Coast (Brooksville) (5A) (8-0) – 42
18. Newberry (1A) (7-1) – 28
19. University (Orange City) (8A) (7-2) – 23
20. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (6-0) – 15
Also receiving votes: Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (8A) (5-3) – 12; Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (4-3) – 5, Middleburg (6A) (4-3) – 4; Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (8-0) –3; Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (7A) (6-1) – 3; Oakleaf (Orange Park) (7A) (5-2) – 3; University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (5-2) – 1.