Buchholz puts stranglehold on top spot after opening round of playoffs


The opening round of the high school football playoffs saw few upsets and many blowouts. 

But Buchholz definitely didn’t have to worry about the first part. 

For that reason, there was hardly any movement for teams in this week’s Prep Zone Football Power Poll.

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The Bobcats improved to 11-0 as they blasted Mosley (Panama City), 59-0, in their Region 1-4S quarterfinal matchup. Buchholz receives 10 of the 12 first-place votes this week as they at stay No. 1. 

Buchholz returns to action on Friday at Citizens Field against No. 18 Ponte Vedra in a regional semifinal matchup. 

Remaining at No. 2 is St. Augustine. The Yellow Jackets (10-0) had no problem with Middleburg in their playoff opener, defeating 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 their first loss of the season in the final regular season week 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 remains at No. 4. 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 (receiving votes) Newberry, who defeated Chiefland at home, 49-16, last Friday.

Another unbeaten in 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. Bradford hosts Eastside (Gainesville) in a Region 1-2S semifinal this week after the Rams defeated Palatka last Friday, 28-27.

The second five also remains the same from a week ago. Williston is No. 6 after a bye last week, and they are followed by No. 7 DeLand, No. 8 Raines (Jacksonville), No. 9 University (Orange City) and No. 10 South Sumter (Bushnell). All four teams easily won their playoff openers. 

DeLand (9-2) received the final first-place vote. 

Other teams receiving votes this week in the Mainstreet Daily News area are Newberry, Columbia (Lake City) and Fort White.

Fort White had a bye and hosts Union County (Lake Butler) in a Region 3-1R semifinal matchup. 

Columbia’s season ended with a 37-14 setback at Choctaw (Fort Walton Beach) in a 3S first-round game. 

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 (St Johns) season came to an end with a 49-36 loss at Ponte Vedra. 
Creekside is 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 Prep Zone Power Poll until after the Dec. 7-9 FHSAA State Football Championships in Tallahassee. 

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.


(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record, and total voting points)

Teams in bold are inside the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area.

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. 

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