Buchholz (Gainesville) puts stranglehold on No. 1 ranking
GAINESVILLE — The opening round of the FHSAA football state playoffs saw few upsets and many blowouts.
Buchholz (Gainesville) definitely didn’t have to worry about the first part.
The Bobcats, the overall No. 1 seed in Class 4S, improved to 11-0 as they blasted Mosley (Panama City), 59-0, in their Region 1-4S quarterfinal matchup.
Buchholz, which returns to action on Friday at Citizens Field against No. 18 Ponte Vedra in a regional semifinal matchup, received 10 of the 12 first-place votes this week and remained No. 1 in the The Prep Zone Power Poll.
St. Augustine remained second.
The Yellow Jackets (10-0), who are averaging 46.2 points per game, had no problem with Middleburg in their playoff opener, blasting the Broncos, 52-14.
St. Augustine stays home this week to host Escambia (Pensacola) in a Region 1-3S semifinal.
Mainland (Daytona Beach) rebounded from its first loss of the season in the regular season finale to hammer Satellite (Satellite Beach), 62-0, in a Region 3-3S quarterfinal. The Bucs (10-1) are back in action on Friday against Rockledge.
Hawthorne remained 4th. The Hornets (9-0) had a bye last week but start defense of the 1R state title from a year ago at home Friday against RV Newberry.
Another unbeaten, Bradford (Starke), rounds out the top five.
The Tornadoes picked up a first-place vote after they pitched another shutout in their 2S playoff opener over Atlantic (Port Orange), 42-0. They host Eastside (Gainesville) in a Region 1-2S semifinal this week.
The second five also remained the same from a week ago.
Williston is 6th after a bye last week, and they are followed by No. 7 DeLand (9-2), which received the other first-place vote, No. 8 Raines (Jacksonville), 9th-ranked University (Orange City), and No. 10 South Sumter (Bushnell).
The No. 7 through 10th-ranked teams all easily won their playoff openers.
The only team to fall out of the top 20 this week is the only top 20 team that lost in the opening round.
Creekside’s (St Johns) season came to an end with a 49-36 loss at Ponte Vedra.
The Knights (6-5) are replaced at No. 20 by Bolles (Jacksonville). The Bulldogs (6-5) returned to the poll after blasting Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), 45-14, in their 2M playoff opener.
This is the final all-classification regional rankings until after the FHSAA Football State Championships in Tallahassee (December 7-9).
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball & baseball 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 and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2023 FOOTBALL POLL #13
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record, and total voting points)
1. Buchholz (Gainesville) (4S) (10) (11-0) – 235
2. St. Augustine (3S) (10-0) – 224
3. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (3S) (10-1) – 215
4. Hawthorne (1R) (9-0) – 199
5. Bradford (Starke) (2S) (1) (11-0) – 190
6. Williston (1R) (10-0) – 172
7. DeLand (4S) (1) (9-2) – 170
8. Raines (Jacksonville) (2M) (10-1) – 157
9. University (Orange City) (4S) (10-1) – 147
10. South Sumter (Bushnell) (2S) (10-1) – 130
11. Madison County (1R) (7-1) – 109
12T. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (7-3) – 101
12T. Vanguard (Ocala) (3S) (9-2) – 101
14. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (4S) (7-4) – 82
15. Riverside (Jacksonville) (2M) (9-2) – 58
16. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (4M) (8-3) – 55
17. Lake Minneola (Minneola) (4S) (8-3) – 54
18. Ponte Vedra (4S) (8-3) – 41
19. Leesburg (3S) (10-1) – 39
20. Bolles (Jacksonville) (2M) (6-5) – 8
Also receiving votes: Columbia (Lake City) (3S) (4-6) – 7; Newberry (1R) (9-2) – 7; Dunnellon (2S) (8-3) – 6; Fort White (1R) (9-1) – 6; Yulee (2S) (9-2) – 4; Nease (Ponte Vedra) (4S) (7-4) – 2; Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (2S) (7-3) – 1.