Championships on line for P.K. Yonge, Eastside


Playing in a two or three-team district can be a double-edged sword.

If you win your one, or two games, you’re a district champion.

But the margin for error is much smaller so a loss could eliminate you from postseason play.

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P.K. Yonge faces a “win and you’re in” tonight in Ocala as the Blue Wave travel to Trinity Catholic to play for the Class 1S-District 3 title.

The Blue Wave (3-5) and the Celtics (2-6), who are the only two teams in the district, kick off at 7 p.m. in a winner-take-all scenario.

Despite being four games under .500, Trinity Catholic is ranked third in Class 1S in the latest USA Today Florida Network state rankings.

Their losses have been to 1M No. 2 Clearwater Central Catholic, 1M No. 3 Carrollwood Day (Tampa), 2M No. 5 Raines (Jacksonville), 2S No. 5 Florida High (Tallahassee), 2M No. 7 Calvary Christian (Clearwater), and at St. Xavier (Cincinnati, OH) last week.

“By no means happy with our season but no excuses here,” said Trinity Catholic coach John Brantley, who led the Celtics to the state title game last year. “We challenge our kids at TC and this year was no exception, but all of our goals are still obtainable, district championship, qualify for tournament, state champions. We’re 11 points from being 5-3 against some of the best competition. We’re close but our real season starts this week.”

Last Friday, the Blue Wave lost at 1R No. 4 Newberry, 35-0, but it was just a 14-0 game at the half and a costly turnover prevented them from making it a one-score game on their first possession of the third quarter.

It will take a complete game effort to pull off the upset tonight.

“That’s a great football program,” said P.K. Yonge coach Willie Jackson, who is in his first season with the Blue Wave. “Their schedule is not at all indicative of how good a team they are. They’ve been playing up every game so they can get ready for the playoffs. As long as we go out and compete, I’ll feel OK about it.”

The game will be broadcast online (audio only) at Mainstreet Daily News, with Cam Parker (Play-by-play) and Matt Quartararo (Color) calling the game beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Then on Friday, the Eastside football team looks to defend its first district championship in 10 years at winless Santa Fe (Alachua).

The Rams (5-3) and the Raiders (0-8) are in a three-team district with North Marion (1-7).

The Colts defeated the Raiders, 31-17, on Sept. 15, but they lost at Eastside, 42-0, on Sept. 28.

Santa Fe could force a three-way tie but Eastside can win the league title outright with a win.

Eastside has looked bad in its three losses to Buchholz, Bradford (Starke), and Newberry, where they were outscored 107-7, but they have outscored their opponents in the five wins, 184-9.

Although the victories have come against lesser competition, the Rams have posted four shutouts this year against 4-4 Keystone Heights, 1-7 North Marion, 1-7 Ridgeview (Orange Park), and 2-6 St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine).

The host Raiders have been outscored 348-102. Their best chance for a win came on Sept. 29 in a 28-27 loss at P.K. Yonge on a missed extra point.

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 106.9 FM “I am Country” beginning at 7 p.m.

Thursday, 6:45 p.m. (PREGAME) – High School Football, 7 p.m. (Kickoff)

P.K. Yonge at Trinity Catholic (Ocala)

‘Live’ & ‘archived’ AUDIO:

Join Cam Parker (Play-by-play) and Matt Quartararo (Color) for the Class 1S-District 3 title and FHSAA state playoff berth.

Friday, 7 p.m. (PREGAME) – High School Football, 7:30 (KICKOFF) 

Eastside at Santa Fe (Alachua)

Radio:  “I am Country” 106.9 FM Gainesville

‘Live’ audio:

Join Mainstreet Daily News Sports Director Mike Ridaught (Play-by-play) and Aiden Wacksman (Color) for the Class 2S-District 7 title and FHSAA state playoff berth.

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