High school football: It’s a road show for Marion County area teams

Week One of the high school football season saw six games played in Marion County. Now, with Dade City Pasco canceling on Vanguard on Monday, Week Six will see only St. John competing in the county.

Forest, Belleview, Lake Weir and West Port will travel for district openers, while Dunnellon will visit always-good Madison County, Trinity Catholic will face yet another team with a winning record, OCA will look to remain unbeaten and St. John hopes to move to .500.

All games start at 7 p.m., unless otherwise indicated.

Forest (1-3, 0-0 in District 2-7A) at Tallahassee Chiles (1-4, 0-0)

FIRST DOWN: The Wildcats were defeated at Dunnellon, 20-0, while the Timberwolves fell to St. Johns Creekside, 35-21, last Friday.

SECOND DOWN: After allowing an average of 38 points in its first two games, FHS’s defense has shown great improvement the last two. The Wildcats allowed an average of 16 points to West Port and Dunnellon.

THIRD DOWN: Chiles may just be 1-4, but the win was an eyebrow raiser. On Sept. 17 the Timberwolves topped small-school powerhouse Madison County, 20-14.

FOURTH DOWN: Forest will host Leesburg, while Chiles will visit Tallahassee FAMU next Friday.

Dunnellon (2-2) at Madison County (3-2), 7:30 p.m.

FIRST DOWN: The Tigers defeated Forest, 20-0, while the Cowboys beat Tallahassee FSU, 21-13, last Friday.

SECOND DOWN: Some fun, spread-it-around defensive stats for Dunnellon: the Tigers have six interceptions this season — by six different players. They also have three fumble recoveries, each also by different players. The only overlap is senior Senadrick Brown, who has one of each.

THIRD DOWN: The beginning of the coaching foundation for DHS’s Price Harris occurred when he was a player for Madison County. And he has worked to schedule the Cowboys as often as possible at Dunnellon in part because, win or lose (and the Tigers obviously hope to win), after facing a traditional power like Madison, you are able to better look at yourself afterward and know what is working and what might not be. 

FOURTH DOWN: Dunnellon will host North Marion, while Madison County will host Live Oak Suwannee, next Friday.

Trinity Catholic (2-2) at Wildwood (3-0), 7:30 p.m.

FIRST DOWN: The Celtics defeated Clearwater Calvary Christian, 28-21, while the Wildcats beat Port Orange Atlantic, 49-6, last Friday.

SECOND DOWN: After an 0-2 start, the Celtics have started rounding into form. They have consecutive victories and, now, this game will mean all five of TC’s opponents so far this year have winning records through the midpoint of the season. 

THIRD DOWN: Wildwood’s defense has been very impressive this season. The Wildcats are allowing an average of five points-a-game to the opposition. They also handed Bushnell South Sumter (4-1) its only loss, 20-9, on Sept. 17.

FOURTH DOWN: Trinity Catholic will host Fort Myers Bishop Verot, while Wildwood will host Orlando Christian Prep next Friday.

Belleview (4-1, 1-0 in District 5-6A) at Spring Hill Springstead (4-1, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.

FIRST DOWN: The Rattlers defeated Lake Weir, 69-6, while the Eagles beat Crystal River, 14-7.

SECOND DOWN: This is a huge one for the Rattlers. Another big game from quarterback Ernest Flythe (five TDs last week), receiver Jackson Dennis (56-yard TD catch and 55-yard punt return TD last week) and defensive back Jahari Baker (two interceptions, one a pick-6, last week) will help the cause.

THIRD DOWN: These teams have one common opponent. Each had low-scoring affairs at Crystal River. SHS topped the Pirates, 14-7, last week, while BHS fell to CRHS, 17-14, on Sept. 10.

FOURTH DOWN: Belleview will host Williston, while Springstead will host Brooksville Hernando next Friday.

Lake Weir (1-3, 0-1 in District 5-5A) at Crystal River (1-4, 0-1)

FIRST DOWN: The Hurricanes were defeated by Belleview, 69-6, while the Pirates fell to Spring Hill Springstead, 14-7.

SECOND DOWN: LWHS senior outside linebacker Robert McKinley has recorded a sack in three of the Hurricanes’ four games this season. He’s also averaging 5.8 tackles-a-game with a high of eight against Leesburg.

THIRD DOWN: Junior Dwann McCray and sophomore Nehemiah Morgan are combining to average 14.8 tackles-a-game for CRHS. McCray also has a team-best three sacks.

FOURTH DOWN: Lake Weir is scheduled to be off, while Crystal River will visit Lecanto next Friday. The Hurricanes didn’t get to play a game earlier this season due to COVID-19 and might be looking for a replacement for next Friday.

West Port (0-5, 0-0 in District 3-8A) at Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley (3-2, 1-0)

FIRST DOWN: The Wolf Pack fell at Hawthorne, 55-20, while the Patriots lost to Orange City University, 33-20, last Friday.

SECOND DOWN: WPHS had a tough time last week against the 2020 FHSAA Class 1A state runner-up, but showed a little something by winning the second half, 8-0. And the Wolf Pack have faced a brutal schedule so far with four of the five teams they have played currently boasting winning records.

THIRD DOWN: Lake Brantley’s best player is arguably junior linebacker Andrew Harris. A 3-star prospect who claims scholarship offers from Auburn, Miami, Mississippi, Texas A&M and eight others, Harris leads LBHS with 42 tackles (38 solo) and a blocked punt.

FOURTH DOWN: West Port will be off next week, while Lake Brantley will host Sanford Seminole on Thursday.

OCA (6-0) at Winter Haven Oasis Christian (3-2)

FIRST DOWN: The Crusaders defeated Davenport Four Corners, 62-0, while the Lions lost to Ave Maria Donahue Catholic, 40-6, last Friday.

SECOND DOWN: OCA senior Joey Sanzone has been a big-play receiving target for Crusaders’ quarterbacks this season. Sanzone has five receptions for 130 yards (26.0 ypc) and a pair of touchdowns.

THIRD DOWN: Oasis Christian freshman CJ Goldwire has just 13 carries this season, but they have been productive. He has a team-best 215 yards, an average of 16.5 ypc. He also has two touchdowns.

FOURTH DOWN: OCA will visit Land O’Lakes Academy at the Lakes on Thursday, while Oasis Christian will host Holiday World of Knowledge next Friday.

Orlando Eastland Christian (0-3) at St. John (1-2)

FIRST DOWN: The Hurricanes fell to Kissimmee City of Life Christian Academy, 50-6, while the Saints defeated Clermont Real Life Christian Academy, 22-18, last Friday.

SECOND DOWN: It has been a real struggle for Eastland Christian, which has been outscored 133-24 this season. This will be the Hurricanes’ third road trip in four contests in 2021.

THIRD DOWN: St. John has proven productive on the ground through three games. The Saints are averaging 5.8 yards-a-carry as a team with Landon Pindell (44 carries for 256 yards, TD) and Grant Phillips (18 carries for 158 yards, TD) leading the way.

FOURTH DOWN: Eastland Christian will host Clermont Real Life Christian Academy, while St. John will visit Merritt Island Christian next Friday.