Mainland (Daytona Beach) nearly unanimous No. 1 after big road win
GAINESVILLE – Week three of the high school football season saw the top-ranked team in The Prep Zone Power Poll, Mainland (Daytona Beach), hit the road for its biggest test so far of the 2023 season.
The Bucs passed with flying colors and extended their lead in the regional all-classification rankings.
Mainland (3-0), last year’s 3S state runners-up, rallied late to win 28-24 at then-No. 3 Bartram Trail (St. Johns). Following the victory, the Bucs received 11 of the 13 first-place votes and they are No. 1 for the third straight week.
With the loss, Bartram Trail (2-1) dropped only two spots to round out the top five this week.
Buchholz (Gainesville) remained second after rolling past city rival Eastside (Gainesville), 35-0, for its 10th straight win against the Rams.
The 3-0 Bobcats, who picked up one first-place vote, will stay at Citizens Field on Friday for their District 3-4S opener against RV Creekside (St. Johns). The game will be broadcast on 106.9 FM “I am Country” and online at IamCountryRadio.com.
Defending 1R state champion Hawthorne moved up a spot to No. 3.
The Hornets had no problem staying unbeaten as they pounded Terry Parker (Jacksonville), 46-6, to move to 3-0. Hawthorne faces a tougher assignment this Friday as they host unbeaten No. 11 South Sumter (Bushnell), which advanced to the Class 2S-Region 3 Final last year. The game will be broadcast online (audio only) at Mainstreet Daily News.
Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) rebounded from a loss at nationally-ranked American Heritage (Plantation) in week 2 to blank North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville), 43-0. The Conquerors (2-1), who travel to 0-3 Bolles (Jacksonville) this week, gained the final first-place vote and moved up one spot to No. 4.
Bartram Trail rounds out the top five after a close loss at home to No. 1 Mainland. The Bears take a week off before travelling to St. Johns County rival No. 8 St. Augustine on September 22nd.
Bradford (Starke) starts off the second five at No. 6.
The Tornadoes are unbeaten at 3-0 after a 32-7 win at Middleburg last Friday. Bradford returns home to face Eastside this week.
Vanguard (Ocala) remained 7th after slipping past Marion County rival Dunnellon, 28-21. Vanguard (3-0), which rallied from a 21-0 deficit, hosts another unbeaten team this week in RV Leesburg, which is also 3-0.
St. Augustine stayed 8th after holding off Brunswick (GA), 45-35, at the Border War Classic at Glynn Academy. The Yellow Jackets (2-0) warm up for the Bartram Trail showdown next week by hosting Menendez (St. Augustine).
Raines (Jacksonville) and Mandarin (Jacksonville) round out the top 10. The Vikings improved to 2-0 by handling Sandalwood (Jacksonville), 26-7, while the Mustangs stayed unbeaten at 3-0 with a 50-20 romp at then unbeaten RV Riverside (Jacksonville).
Moving into the poll this week are 17th-ranked University (Orange City), No. 18 Fleming Island (Orange Park), and Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), which is 20th. University is 3-0 while Fleming Island and Bishop Kenny are 2-0 in the young season.
Dropping out from last week is Creekside, which falls to 1-2 after a 49-31 loss to Richmond Hill (GA) at the Border War Classic.
Also falling out is Bolles, which dropped to 0-3 for the first time since 1967 after a 17-9 loss to Coffee (GA) at the Border War in Brunswick, and Columbia, which is 0-2 following a 35-21 decision at No. 15 DeLand.
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 #4
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record, and total voting points)
1. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (3S) (11) (3-0) – 258
2. Buchholz (Gainesville) (4S) (1) (3-0) – 241
3. Hawthorne (1R) (3-0) – 209
4. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (1) (2-1) – 207
5. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (4S) (2-1) – 199
6. Bradford (Starke) (2S) (3-0) – 187
7. Vanguard (Ocala) (3S) (3-0) – 178
8. St. Augustine (3S) (2-0) – 169
9. Raines (Jacksonville) (2M) (2-0) – 157
10. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (4M) (3-0) – 154
10T. South Sumter (Bushnell) (2S) (3-0) – 131
12. University Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (2-1) – 104
13. Suwannee (Live Oak) (2S) (2-0) – 95
14. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (1S) (1-1) – 94
15. DeLand (4S) (2-1) – 85
16. Williston (1R) (3-0) – 63
17. University (Orange City) (4S) (3-0) – 35
18. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (4S) (2-0) – 32
19. Union County (Lake Butler) (1R) (1-1) – 28
20. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (2M) (2-0) – 24
Also receiving votes: Creekside (St. Johns) (4S) (1-3) – 14; Madison County (1R) (1-0) – 13; Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) (4M) (3-0) – 8; Leesburg (3S) (3-0) – 8; Bolles (Jacksonville) (2M) (0-3) – 7; Columbia (Lake City) (3S) (0-2) – 7; Oakleaf (Orange Park) (4S) (1-0) – 6; Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (4S) (3-0) – 5; Lake Minneola (4S) (1-2) – 3; Ponte Vedra (4S) (1-1) – 3; Dunnellon (2S) (1-1) – 2; Fort White (1R) (2-0) – 2; Baldwin (2S) (2-1) – 1; Palatka (2S) (3-0) – 1.