Ridaught: Still searching for the one

Gainesville's Calel Perry (99) makes a sack against Leon (Tallahassee) on Sept. 1 with Josh Morrison (15) coming to help.
Gainesville's Calel Perry (99) makes a sack against Leon (Tallahassee) on Sept. 1 with Josh Morrison (15) coming to help.
Photo by Seth Johnson

A total of six high school football teams in the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area are still seeking their first win of the season.

At least one of them will get their first win of the year this week.

Gainesville, Santa Fe (Alachua), Columbia (Lake City), St. Francis Catholic Academy, Bell and Bronson are all winless heading into the final two weeks of September.

There were seven winless teams heading into last Friday, but in a matchup of teams without a victory this season, Keystone Heights got its first win of the year with a 49-0 victory at home against Bell.

It was also the first win for first-year head coach Steve Reynolds, who lost his first game of the season with the Indians (1-2) at home against Eastside, 35-0, on Sept. 1, and also lost at home on Sept. 8 to Fort White, 49-26.

Keystone Heights held Bell to just 58 yards on the ground (2.8 yards per carry) and 143 yards of total offense.

Bell, which dropped to 0-4, will host 1-2 Hamilton County (Jasper) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday night. 

Bell's Lucas Stapp (52) celebrates after tackling Trenton quarterback Jackson Gentry at the 1-yard line in the first quarter on Thursday.
Photo by C.J. Gish Bell's Lucas Stapp (52) and the Bulldogs will host Hamilton County on Friday.

The Bulldogs have struggled offensively and have been shut out three times this season, which included a 28-0 season-opening loss to Trenton on Aug. 24. 

We’ll get another winless matchup this Thursday night at Citizens Field as Gainesville (0-4) hosts Santa Fe (0-4).

This past Friday, the Hurricanes lost at Clay (Green Cove Springs), 35-14, while the Raiders lost at North Marion (Citra), 31-17.

GHS, which is led by first-year coach and alum Ian Scott, is giving up an average of 34.8 points per game. 

Santa Fe, which scored a season-high 17 points in the loss to the Colts, is allowing 45 ppg.

It was the 15th straight loss for Gainesville, which went winless in 2022.

Santa Fe, which is in year two under head coach Joe Szymanski, has lost nine in a row. However, despite only one win all of last season, it came at home, 14-7, against Gainesville.

This Thursday’s game between the Raiders and the Hurricanes will be broadcast online (audio only) at Mainstreet Daily News with Marty Pallman (Play-by-play) and Cam Parker (Color) calling the game. 

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Santa Fe quarterback Tison Thomas scrambles from Newberry defenders in a 68-10 home loss on Friday.
Photo by Seth Johnson Santa Fe quarterback Tison Thomas and the Raiders will play Gainesville at Citizens Field on Thursday.

Coverage of the Santa Fe at GHS game begins at 6:45 p.m., followed by the kickoff at 7 p.m.

Columbia fell to 0-3 for the first time since starting 0-5 in 2020.

The Tigers lost at Madison County, 22-8, last Friday. They also lost against Buchholz, 41-13, in week one and then lost at DeLand, 35-21, on Sept. 8.

The schedule doesn’t get any easier this week as Columbia hosts Trinity Christian Academy (Jacksonville) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. The visiting Conquerors (2-2) are currently ranked at No. 6 in Class 1M by MaxPreps and are No. 4 in The Prep Zone Power Poll.

Trinity Christian, which finished 11-1 in 2022, defeated Columbia, 43-30, last year in Jacksonville.

St. Francis Catholic (0-3) is giving up 49.7 points per game, including 44 last Friday at home against Bishop McLaughlin Catholic (Spring Hill), which improved to 4-0.

In the 44-16 loss, the Wolves actually had success through the air with 253 combined passing yards by senior Cooper Lieffers, junior Johnny O’Donnell, and freshman Jake Long. 

However, Lieffers and O’Donnell combined to throw three interceptions, including a pick-6.

The Wolves, who actually led 8-6 at the end of the first quarter, will travel to The First Academy-Leesburg (1-3) at 7 p.m. this Friday night.

Bronson (0-4) has been outscored 190-18 in its four games this season, including a 57-6 loss at Oak Hall School last Friday.

The Eagles will travel to 3-1 The First Academy (Orlando) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

If Bronson doesn’t win this week they will have to wait until October to get their first win as the Eagles are off next week before hosting Trinity Christian Academy (Deltona) on Friday, Oct. 6.

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