Three area teams in top five

Hawthorne Hornets football team
The Hawthorne Hornets moved up one spot to No. 4 after defeating then No. 19 Union County in Lake Butler, 28-21, last Friday. (Photo by C.J. Gish)

For the first time this high school football season, there is a new No. 1 in The Prep Zone Power Poll, which ranks the top 20 teams across 26 counties in North Central Florida.

Buchholz had been on top of the all-classification regional rankings for the first seven weeks. However, Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) moved ahead slightly.

The Conquerors (7-0), who are ranked No. 3 in Class 1M and 23rd overall in Florida, received just three of the eight first-place votes but they received five 2nd-place votes to edge Buchholz, 155-154, in total voting points.

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Trinity Christian defeated previous No. 4 University Christian (Jacksonville), 20-13, and picked up one extra first-place vote this week.

Buchholz defeated Oakleaf (Orange Park), 45-31, in a Class 4S-District 3 game but received three 3rd-place votes. The Bobcats (6-0) are ranked at No. 6 in Class 4S and 25th overall in Florida by MaxPreps.

The team with the most third-place votes, Bartram Trail (St. Johns), is ranked third.

The Bears (7-0), who are in the same district as Buchholz, won at previous No. 9 Creekside (St. Johns), 59-27. They are ranked No. 3 in 4S and 19th overall in Florida.

If the season ended today, Bartram Trail would be the No. 1 seed in Class 4S-Region 1 and Buchholz would be the No. 2 seed. However, that could change this Friday night as Bartram Trail hosts Buchholz for the Class 4S-District 3 title.

Hawthorne, which rallied from a 21-0 first half deficit to beat previous No. 19 Union County in Lake Butler, 28-21, moved up one spot to fourth.

The Hornets (6-0), who are ranked No. 2 in 1R and have played in the past two 1A state title games, host No. 17 North Marion (Citra) this Friday night at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on 106.9 FM and audio online at IamCountryRadio.com.

Rounding out the top five is Bradford (Starke).

The Tornadoes (7-0) moved up one spot from sixth following a 27-0 win at home against Tocoi Creek (St. Augustine). It was the sixth shutout of the season for Bradford, which is ranked third in Class 2S and 44th overall in Florida.

Mainland (Daytona Beach) is ranked sixth, followed by University Christian, Raines (Jacksonville), Lake Minneola, and South Sumter (Bushnell) in the top 10.

Columbia (Lake City) (3S) (4-3) is back in the rankings at No. 19 following a 28-14 win against Middleburg.

The Tigers, who are ranked ninth in 3S and 68th overall in Florida, have won two in a row since a 43-30 loss at Trinity Christian. They also have played Buchholz, RV Union County, RV DeLand, and defending 1A state champion Madison County this season.

Williston, which defeated winless Trenton, 56-0, is in the rankings for the first time at No. 20. The 7-0 Red Devils, who are ranked eighth in 1R and 167th overall in Florida, have posted four shutouts this season and are averaging 52 points per game.

Previous No. 20 Baldwin and No. 19 Union County dropped out but they are still receiving votes.

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 #8

(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. Trinity Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (3) (7-0) – 155

2. Buchholz (Gainesville) (4S) (5) (6-0) – 154

3. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (4S) (7-0) – 147

4. Hawthorne (1A) (6-0) – 127

5. Bradford (Starke) (2S) (7-0) – 123

6. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (3S) (5-1) – 122

7. University Christian (Jacksonville) (1M) (7-1) – 112

8. Raines (Jacksonville) (2M) (5-1) – 109

9. Lake Minneola (Minneola) (4S) (6-1) – 89

10. South Sumter (Bushnell) (2S) (8-0) – 70

11. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (2M) (6-1) – 69

12. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (1S) (5-2) – 61

13. Bolles (Jacksonville) (2M) (5-3) – 58

14. Chiefland (1R) (5-0) – 54

15. Creekside (St. Johns) (4S) (5-2) – 52

16. Vanguard (Ocala) (3S) (5-3) – 41

17. North Marion (Citra) (2S) (6-2) – 33

18. Ed White (Jacksonville) (2M) (4-2) – 30

19. Columbia (Lake City) (3S) (4-3) – 13

20. Williston (1R) (7-0) – 12

Also receiving votes: Baldwin (2S) (6-1) – 11; Union County (Lake Butler) (1R) (4-2) – 9; Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (3M) (6-2) – 8; Springstead (Spring Hill) (4S) (8-0) – 6; St. Augustine (3S) (4-3) – 4; Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (2S) (5-2) – 4; Fleming Island (Orange Park) (4S) (4-2) – 3; Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (2M) (7-1) – 2; DeLand (4S) (3-3) – 2.

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