Buchholz-GHS rivalry airs on radio tonight

Buchholz's Creed Whittemore (2) and Quinton Cutler (10) and Gainesville's John Cooper will face off in the annual cross-town rivalry contest tonight at Citizens Field.
Buchholz's Creed Whittemore (2) and Quinton Cutler (10) and Gainesville's John Cooper will face off in the annual cross-town rivalry contest tonight at Citizens Field. (Photos by C.J. Gish)
Photos by C.J. Gish

You can throw out the records and the rankings in rivalry games.

GHS (0-6) would certainly like to hit the reset button as the Hurricanes are still seeking their first win of the season. They’ve been outscored 230-51 through six games.

The closest the ‘Canes have come to a victory this season was a 14-7 loss at Santa Fe (Alachua) on Sept. 23. However, they were down only seven last Tuesday until Menendez (St. Augustine) forced a safety in the final minute in a 23-14 loss in a 3S-District 4 game.

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It’s a young team under head coach Dock Pollard, who led Gainesville to a district title and an 8-3 record in 2021.

Of the 42 players on their roster, almost half (18) are freshmen and sophomores.

Plus, GHS lost its starting quarterback (Shooby Coleman) and running back (Kyree Edwards) to Williston High School, and Ahman Covington, who led the team with 72 tackles last season, transferred to Bradford (Starke).

It will take a complete game to have a chance against Buchholz.

Two weeks ago, senior Reed Rousseau kicked a 37-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to give the Bobcats a 24-21 win at Vanguard (Ocala) to remain unbeaten.

The Bobcats (4-0), who are ranked fourth in the state in Class 4S by MaxPreps, have a bunch of players who will be playing on Saturdays.

Senior quarterback Creed Whittemore (UF commit), wide receivers Jaren Hamilton (Alabama offer) and Jacarree Kelly (University of Delaware commit) lead the offense, while Gavin Hill (UF commit), Kendall Jackson (UF offer), Thomas Weinhardt (no offers currently), and Donny Hiebert (offers from Columbia University, Stetson University, and D2 Findlay) anchor the defense.

Whittemore has thrown for 765 yards and he leads the team with 361 yards rushing to give him over 1,000 yards in just four games. He also has accounted for 15 touchdowns, has only been sacked twice, and has thrown just two interceptions.

Junior running back Quinton Cutler is second on the team with 255 yards rushing.

Hamilton leads the team with six touchdown catches and 315 yards receiving, but Kelly leads the team with 18 receptions to go along with 100 yards rushing on only eight carries.

It’s a balanced offense with 203 yards per game through the air and 187 yards rushing per game.

Defensively, Weinhardt leads the team with 29 tackles, including five sacks and 10 tackles for a loss. He also blocked a punt and recovered the ball in the end zone in a 45-6 win at home against Riverview (Sarasota) on Sept. 2.

Jackson is second with 26 tackles, along with a team-leading 13 tackles for a loss and nine sacks.

Hiebert (20 tackles, 1 INT) and Hill (5 TFL) help lead a defense that is very efficient on third down (22.9%).

Buchholz has won three in a row against GHS and leads the all-time series, 29-20, including a 34-3 win last year despite just a 6-3 lead at the half. The two teams did not play in 2020 due to COVID-19.

Tonight’s game will be broadcast on 106.9 FM “I am Country” and online at IamCountryRadio.com beginning at 7 p.m. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

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