One of the best high school football playoff games in the state will be held at Citizen’s Field in Gainesville this Friday night.
The Buchholz Bobcats will host Niceville in the Class 7A Region 1 semifinals, in a match-up of two teams with a combined 17-1 record. The only loss belongs to the host Bobcats. However, Buchholz’s lone defeat came early in the season, falling at home to Oakleaf (Orange Park) in the season opener back on September 11th.
Since then, the Bobcats have won eight games in a row. Making the feat even more impressive is the fact that Buchholz lost its starting quarterback (Jack Hevesy) for the year on the first drive of the second game against rival Eastside. Sophomore Creed Whittemore, the son of Buchholz football coach Mark Whittemore, stepped in and the Bobcats have averaged 45.9 points per game during the current 8-game winning streak.
Whittemore has a Division-I running back in the backfield in Quan Smith, who has rushed for 1,200 yards and 16 touchdowns. Smith has an offer from the University of Michigan. The Bobcats also have an SEC receiver in junior Quan Lee, who has 45 catches for 918 yards and 12 touchdowns. Lee has offers from Tennessee, South Carolina, and Kentucky.
Buchholz also has a defense that is only allowing 11.3 points per game in the month of November. However, they face a Niceville team that is averaging 49.3 points per game and has imposed a running clock on all nine opponents.
Buchholz-Niceville on I am Country 106.9 radio this Friday
Friday night’s Buchholz versus Niceville game at Citizen’s Field in the Class 7A-Region 1 Semifinals has been moved to 7 p.m. kickoff. We’ll have coverage of the game beginning at 6:30 p.m. right here on 106.9 I am Country.
Hawthorne travels to Wildwood for regional final
The Hawthorne football team will travel to Wildwood on Friday night for a Class 1A-Region 4 Final with a spot in the state semifinals on the line. Last week, the Hornets advanced with a 12-7 win at home against Fort Meade. It marked the 5th time this season that Hawthorne had given up seven points or less in a game. The 8-2 Hornets are only allowing 10.8 points per game.
However, they will face an explosive Wildwood offense that averages 40.8 points per game. Last week, in a 49-16 win at Newberry, Wildcats’ quarterback Nate Mikell accounted for six touchdowns, three on the ground and three through the air. Wildwood, which is 9-1, has scored 35 or more points eight times this season.
Union County hosting Madison County
In other playoff games involving area teams, Union County will host Madison County.
The Tigers cruised to a 47-0 win over the Fort White Indians in the second round of the Class 1-A playoffs Friday night after a 42-20 win over Keystone Heights the week before in the first round.
They are 7-3 on the season, while Madison County is 9-2.
Columbia at home against Mainland
The Columbia Tigers host the Mainland Buccaneers of Daytona Beach in the 6-A Region 2 semifinals.
After five straight losses to begin a COVID-plagued season, the Tigers have won four straight games, three of them in the postseason to vault into the conversation for a state championship.
The Tigers scored two second quarter touchdowns and held on to defeat the Seabreeze Sandcrabs 28-14 in the second round of the postseason Friday night.
Columbia is now 4-5 on the season. Mainland is 8-1.