Thursday night kicks off this week’s football broadcasts

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Our first broadcast of high school football on a Thursday night should be a good one.

Gainesville will host Santa Fe (Alachua) at Citizens Field as both teams seek their first win of the season.

The Hurricanes (0-4) and the Raiders (0-4) are two of six teams in the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area who are still winless.

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They faced the same scenario last year when 0-4 GHS traveled to Alachua to face 0-4 Santa Fe.

The host Raiders held on to win 14-7 thanks to defensive back Dontrell Jenkins, who intercepted two passes and added two pass breakups, including the game-winner in the end zone with eight seconds left.

GHS lost its remaining five games to finish 0-10 as head coach Dock Pollard resigned, while first-year Santa Fe coach Joe Szymanski’s team lost its remaining five games and finished 1-9.

New football coach Ian Scott, a Gainesville High alum, hopes to lead his ‘Canes to their first win of the season and snap a 15-game losing streak. Santa Fe is looking to end a 10-game slide.

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. Coverage begins at 6:45 p.m., followed by the kickoff at 7 p.m.

On Friday, Vanguard (Ocala) travels to Citizens Field to face Buchholz this week in a battle of unbeatens for our radio Game of the Week.

The visiting Knights (4-0) have given up an average of 22.75 points per game, which favors the host Bobcats (4-0) who are averaging 44.5 ppg.

However, Buchholz coach Chuck Bell is still very concerned about his opponent on defense, particularly in pass coverage against his sophomore quarterback Trace Johnson.

“They’ve done a really good job this year of getting after the quarterback,” he said. “They’ve got a very strong front four that pin their ears back and can really rush the passer. What their defense does in the secondary is, they’re very, very good at man coverage and they have the guys to do it…it’s going to be tough for Trace and he’s going to have to pick the right matchup and trust if the first guy is covered up to know where to go with his eyes the second time.”

Buchholz’s ability to run the football will be key once again.

University of Florida commit Myles Graham, a 4-star linebacker according to 247Sports, was recognized as athlete of the week after going over 200 yards on the ground in last week’s district opening win, 49-20, against Creekside (St. Johns).

The Bobcats won last year’s game in Ocala in the final seconds against elusive quarterback Fred Gaskin III.

The USF commit is a 3-star safety according to 247Sports who is tough to defend at the QB position.

“Fred has really embraced the idea of being a quarterback,” Bell said. “I respect the heck out of him but I’ll be glad when he graduates. He’s a pain in the backfield. He can create things with his legs, his arm has really gotten a lot better…if we can keep him in the pocket to the best of our ability, and that’s easier said than done, I think we’ll have a little bit of success. But Fred Gaskin is one of the most electric players that we’ve played against, coached against, in any game over the last three or four years.”

Last year’s 24-21 win snapped a four-game Buchholz losing streak in the series.

“It’s a really healthy rivalry,” said Bell, who joined Graham, UF commit Kendall Jackson and a few others on “The Prep Zone” sports show on Wednesday night. “I have so much respect for Coach (Edwin) Farmer. In my mind, behind the Bobcats, they’re probably the most dangerous team in North Florida.”

Friday’s game will be broadcast on local radio.

I’ll handle the play-by-play of the game and will be joined in the booth by former Gator football player Hank Rone (Color) and Aiden Wacksman (Pregame/Halftime/Postgame) on 106.9 FM “I am Country” and online at IamCountryRadio.com.

Our coverage begins at 7 p.m., followed by the kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Here is our ‘live’ and ‘archived’ football broadcasts for this week.

Thursday, 6:45 p.m. (PREGAME) – High School Football, 7 p.m. (Kickoff)

Santa Fe (Alachua) at Gainesville

‘Live’ & ‘archived’ AUDIO: https://www.mainstreetdailynews.com/sports/live-stream/

Join Marty Pallman (Play-by-play) and Cam Parker (Color) for this Alachua County showdown. Both teams are 0-4 and seeking their first win of the season. Last year, Santa Fe edged GHS, 14-7, in Alachua for their only victory in 2022. GHS, which went 0-10 last year, is looking to snap a 15-game losing streak.

Friday, 7 p.m. (PREGAME) – High School Football, 7:30 p.m. (KICKOFF) 

Vanguard (Ocala) at Buchholz

Radio:  “I am Country” 106.9 FM Gainesville

‘Live’ audio:  https://streamdb6web.securenetsystems.net/cirrusencore/WPLL

Join Mike Ridaught (Play-by-play), Hank Rone (Color), and Aiden Wacksman (Pregame, Halftime, Postgame) for this Alachua County vs. Marion County showdown of unbeaten teams (4-0). It’s homecoming for Buchholz, which edged Vanguard, 24-21, last year in Ocala on a field goal with 14 seconds to play.

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