On Friday night at Citizen’s Field, Buchholz hosted Cardinal Gibbons (Ft. Lauderdale) in a match-up of unbeaten ranked teams.
The visiting Chiefs, the defending 4A state champions, built a 13-0 lead in the first quarter and handed the Bobcats (3-1), ranked fifth in Class 7A, their first loss of the season with a 16-7 win.
Cardinal Gibbons (3-0), which is ranked No. 1 in the state in Class 4A, got interceptions from Presley Green and Adonis Allen to set up scores.
Chiefs’ quarterback Dylan Rizk threw a 16-yard touchdown pass Davon Kiser for a 6-0 lead with 4:43 to play in the first quarter. Rizk added a 6-yard run for a 13-0 lead with :55 to play in the opening quarter.
The Bobcats did answer on their next possession.
Buchholz quarterback Creed Whittemore threw a 72-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jacarree Kelly with 9.8 seconds to play in the first quarter to put the Bobcats back in the game at 13-7.
It stayed that way until the fourth quarter.
However, a costly turnover proved to be the difference in the game.
Whittemore, who entered the game with only one interception, threw his third interception of the night, after Tavares Williams had intercepted a pass at the Buchholz 1-yard line with 3:20 to play in the game.
But the interception by the Chiefs’ Jeremiah Makins led to a 23-yard game-clinching field goal by Adrian Alfieri with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve got to do the little things in order to beat a better football team,” said Buchholz football coach Mark Whittemore. “That was, on paper, a better football team, more experienced. They won a state championship last year.”
The Bobcats will have a week off before their next game at home against Leon (Tallahassee) on Friday, Oct. 1.
“We’ve got to be better than good,” Whittemore said. “We have to be excellent, and we weren’t excellent tonight. It doesn’t mean you have to be perfect, we just weren’t excellent.”
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