Buchholz, Hawthorne remain among top area teams

Buchholz's Jacarree Kelly eludes Columbia players
Jacarree Kelly and the Buchholz Bobcats remain atop this week's regional football power poll and Columbia dropped to No. 10. (Photo by C.J. Gish)

The weather wreaked havoc in the opening week of action for the teams in the Prep Zone Power Poll as most games were played, delayed, canceled or rescheduled for later in the season. 

One team who waited out a delay to get a win was Buchholz. The Bobcats, who were the No. 1 team in the preseason poll, started almost an hour and a half late due to lightning and heavy rain. 

But the Bobcats did play their game at Citizens Field and rolled to a 31-14 win over then-No.7T Columbia (Lake City). With the win, Buchholz receives eight of the nine first-place votes this week to remain atop the rankings. 

Moving up to No. 2 this week is Trinity Christian (Jacksonville). The Conquerors, state champs the last two years, also played through a weather delay and held off Received Votes (RV) Ed White (Jacksonville), 48-40. Trinity Christian received the other first-place vote.  This week, things don’t get any easier for the Conquerors as they host No. 9 Raines (Jacksonville). 

Bolles (Jacksonville) drops a spot to No. 3 despite winning 34-13 at RV St. Augustine. The Bulldogs (1-0) host RV Mandarin (Jacksonville) in their home opener this Friday. 

Vanguard (Ocala) remains at No. 4. The Knights had to wait a day and see their opener against Gainesville moved from Citizens Field on Friday to Booster Stadium in Ocala on Saturday also due to weather issues. No problem for Vanguard as they blasted Gainesville 68-0 for one of the worst losses in the history of the Hurricanes program.

The Knights face a daunting test this week as they take a six-hour bus ride to play at Niceville. 

Hawthorne rounds out the top five for the second straight week. The Hornets opened their 2022 season with a 24-7 win at Middleburg. Hawthorne’s game this week against P.K. Yonge was postponed due to COVID within the Blue Wave program and will be played in week five on Sept. 23. 

Bartram Trail (St. Johns) leads off the second five. The Bears slipped past rival Ponte Vedra 13-7 to win their opener. 

Madison County, who won at Carrollwood Day (Tampa) 40-33, moves up four spots into a tie at No. 7 with Mainland (Daytona Beach). The Bucs are up five slots after blasting rival DeLand, 42-29. 

Raines (1-0) moves up a spot to No. 9 after holding off Monsignor Pace (Miami), 19-13.

Columbia rounds out the top 10 after their opening week loss to Buchholz. Things don’t get much easier for the Tigers (0-1) as they travel to Union County (Lake Butler) this Friday. Union County, No. 14 in the preseason poll, dropped out of the rankings this week after a 33-14 upset loss at University Christian. 

With the win over Union County, the Christians (1-0) move into the poll at No. 13. Also new to the rankings this week are No. 14 North Marion (Citra), No. 15 Chiefland, and Dunnellon and Bradford (Starke), both tied for 19th. 

Joining Union County in falling out of the poll from a week ago are Trinity Catholic (Ocala), St. Augustine, The Villages, and University (Orange City). 

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball & baseball teams (regardless of FHSAA classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.

THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2022 FOOTBALL POLL #2 

(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record, and total voting points)

Teams in bold are inside the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area.

1. Buchholz (Gainesville) (4S) (8) (1-0) – 179
2. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (1) (1-0) – 164
3. Bolles (Jacksonville) (2M) (1-0) – 163
4. Vanguard (Ocala) (3S) (1-0) – 157
5. Hawthorne (1R) (1-0) – 139
6. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (4S) (1-0) – 124
7T. Madison County (1R) (1-0) – 117
7T. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (3S) (1-0) – 117
9. Raines (Jacksonville) (2M) (1-0) – 105
10. Columbia (Lake City) (3S) (0-1) – 70
11. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (4S) (1-0) – 64
12. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (4S) (1-0) – 63
13. University Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (1-0) – 45
14. North Marion (Citra) (2S) (1-0) – 41
15. Chiefland (1R) (1-0) – 37
16T. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (2S) (0-1) – 34
16T. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (4S) (0-1) – 34
18. Riverside (Jacksonville) (2M) (1-0) – 31
19T. Bradford (Starke) (2S) (0-0) – 27
19T. Dunnellon (2S) (1-0) – 27

Also receiving votes: Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (2M) (1-1) – 25; South Sumter (Bushnell) (2S) (1-0) – 25; Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (1S) (0-1) – 24; Creekside (St. Johns) (4S) (1-0) – 18; Ed White (Jacksonville) (2M) (0-1) – 14; St. Augustine (3S) (0-1) – 12; Wildwood (1R) (1-0) – 10; Mandarin (Jacksonville) (4M) (1-0) – 9; Flagler Palm Coast (4S) (1-0) – 6; Lake Minneola (Minneola) (4S) (1-0) – 6; Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (2M) (1-0) – 4; University (Orange City) (4S) (0-1) – 3; Eastside (Gainesville) (2S) (1-0) – 1; Union County (Lake Butler) (1R) (0-1) – 1. 

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