Gainesville, Buchholz fight for district titles

Thursday night, two area football teams took their next step in advancing to the FHSAA playoffs, which begins on Nov. 12.

P.K. Yonge, which is trying to keep its postseason hopes alive, took care of business with a 42-20 win at Providence (Jacksonville).

The Blue Wave, who improved to 6-3, entered the game in the No. 7 spot in Class 3A-Region 1, with the top six teams qualifying for the postseason. They will return home next Friday for Senior Night against unbeaten Keystone Heights, so a victory could secure a playoff seed.

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The Indians improved to 9-0 with a 32-0 win at Stanton Prep (Jacksonville) on Thursday. They are in great shape to make the playoffs as they are third in Class 4A-Region 2 behind Cocoa and The Villages, which edged Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel), 31-29, on Thursday night.

Tonight at 7 p.m., the Gainesville football team travels to St. Augustine for the Class 6A-District 4 title. It could be a postseason elimination game.

The winner is assured a spot in the 6A playoffs as a district champion, but both teams are on the outside looking in.

GHS (6-2, 3-0) is seventh in Region 1, while the Yellow Jackets (5-2, 3-0) are eight in the region. Only four at-large teams will be taken from Region 1, as four district champions secure bids.

The loser of GHS-St. Augustine will be in wait-and-see mode for the final RPI rankings. We’ll have live audio coverage of the game at MainStreetDailyNews.com.

Despite a 35-13 loss last night to Raines (Jacksonville), Columbia (Lake City) has already secured a postseason spot by wrapping up the District 3 title in Region 1.

Buchholz (Gainesville), ranked first in this week’s regional power poll, will play Forest (Ocala) tonight at 7:30 p.m. for the 7A-District 2 title.

The Bobcats (7-1, 2-0), who close out the regular season next Friday at Bartram Trail (St. Johns), are looking to lock down a home playoff game with a victory tonight against the Wildcats (3-5, 0-1) at Citizen’s Field.

Next Friday night marks the end of the high school football regular season, but for some area teams the postseason begins tonight. The Sunshine State Athletic Conference begins week one of its state playoffs this week.

Dixie County will travel to Freeport, Williston is at Cottondale, Chiefland hosts Holmes County, Trenton hosts Liberty County, and Santa Fe Catholic (Lakeland) is at Oak Hall (Gainesville).

Against Freeport, Dixie County will look to snap a three-game losing streak. The Bears (2-5) lost to Newberry, 28-3, last Friday.

Williston (0-7), which was off last week, is still seeking its first win of the season.

Trenton will host Liberty County as a No. 3 seed. Last Friday, the Tigers lost to Hilliard, 28-21. The Tigers (3-4) will play the winner of Hamilton County and Sneads next Friday.

Chiefland will look to move to 9-0 when they host Holmes County. The Indians cruised to a 55-0 win against Interlachen on homecoming last Friday and are currently the No. 1 seed in 1A-Region 3.

Taking a look ahead to the FHSAA Class 1A state football playoffs, there are a lot of good teams who have a legitimate chance to make a state championship run.

The Indians just posted their second shutout of the season, while the offense posted its fourth straight game of 42 points or more and its sixth overall.

Hawthorne, which played in last year’s 1A state championship game, is 7-0. The Hornets have maintained their perfect record against a difficult schedule, which included a 27-6 win over Class 7A Forest last Friday. They are currently ranked No. 1 in the state in 1A.

Union County, which beat 4A Santa Fe (Alachua), 49-14, is 8-0, plus perennial power Madison County will also be in the mix. The Tigers (8-0) are currently ranked third in Class 1A.

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