GHS rolls, sets up district championship showdown

The Gainesville football team took care of business early on Thursday night at Citizen’s Field.

On homecoming, the Hurricanes built a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter against visiting Ridgeview (Orange Park) and cruised to a 49-7 district win.

The victory sets up a showdown with St. Augustine next Friday night for the Class 6A-District 4 title.

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“Our young football team came out and probably played our most complete football game in terms of execution,” said Gainesville coach Dock Pollard. “We had a game plan and they came out and executed the game plan probably better than anytime since I’ve been the head coach here.”

Gainesville (6-2, 3-0) scored just 18 seconds into the game.

Running back Kyree Edwards scored on a 59-yard run to make it 7-0 with 11:42 to play in the opening quarter.

Quarterback Shamon Coleman threw back-to-back scoring passes of 49 yards to Khamari Frazier and 43 yards to Brent King in building a 21-0 lead after the first quarter.

Ryan Nolan was named the Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game.

He scored on a 5-yard run on 3rd-and-goal with 6:13 to play in the second quarter and then just over two minutes later the senior added a 46-yard pick-6 to give GHS a 35-0 lead with 4:33 to play in the second quarter.

“When stuff breaks down I know I’ve got to be an athlete and just play football,” Nolan said. “Being in the right position, I got the pick-6 off the tipped pass just being in the right position and playing the right assignment. A small play turned into a big play and a touchdown.”

Kendrick Newton added a 2nd pick-6 when he intercepted a pass and scored on a 38-yard return down the Ridgeview (1-7, 0-3) sidelines less than two minutes into the second half.

Edwards finished off the scoring with a 35-yard touchdown run.

Gainesville can win the district next Friday, Oct. 29, with a win at district favorite St. Augustine, which is 2-0 in the district heading into its home district game against Matanzas (Palm Coast) on Friday night.

“St. Augustine is a proven program,” Pollard said. “They were a state semifinal team last year, and the game is over there. We’ve just got to go over there and have another game where we execute to the level that we did tonight. It won’t be easy.”

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