Week six is in the books and a lot of ground to cover in Snaps.
* After watching Bolles take apart West Nassau on Friday night, a few things stood out.
For all the talk about Bolles offensive line being a growth area early on, I saw none of those issues. QB Mac Jones was sacked once, although he rarely saw any sustained pressure.
WR Zac Crosby (6-3, 218) is a bad matchup for linebackers.
A 20-yard TD pass from Jones to Westbrook for Bolles’ third score of the game was a gorgeous fade, put just enough out in front of Westbrook to pull him away from his defender.
* Bolles coach Corky Rogers paid a huge compliment to Deerfield Beach DB Aaron Robinson, a Florida commit. The Bulldogs beat Deerfield 33-15 a week earlier.
“That No. 1 is one of the best players I’ve seen. We couldn’t get off the line of scrimmage. He didn’t let [our receivers] breathe.”
* The Raines-Bolles discussion is always a good one.
The fan bases are passionate on both sides, the history is deep and the games are almost always fantastic. Oct. 29 – the game was moved up a day from its original Oct. 30th day this week – can’t get here quick enough.
I’ll have to do some more research, but from what I’ve dug up this week, I could only find two times the area has had a No. 1-2 showdown.
On Oct. 13, 2000, Class 2A No. 1 Bolles beat No. 2 Trinity Christian, 28-21. The next came Nov. 1, 2002, when top-ranked St. Augustine beat second-ranked Palatka 35-34 in overtime on a missed PAT.
* A recurring question I get on social media and in quite a few emails, especially this past week, is the comparison between the schedules of Bolles and Raines. Here are the numbers in those. District games marked by an *; classification and the team’s current record in parentheses.
d. Lake Mary, 49-29 (8A, 1-4)
d. Heritage, 28-21 (6A, 4-1)
d. Lakewood, 56-0 (5A, 4-2)
d. Jackson, 42-6 (4A, 0-5)*
d. Deerfield Beach, 33-15 (8A, 4-1)
d. West Nassau, 56-6 (4A, 4-1)*
Opponents combined record: 17-14.
d. Lee, 39-0 (3-2, 7A)
d. North Miami Beach, 61-0 (0-5, 8A)
d. White, 49-10 (2-4, 6A)
d. Fernandina Beach, 53-0 (2-4, 4A)*
d. Wolfson, 45-0 (0-6, 6A)
Opponents combined record: 7-21.
You can only play the schedule in front of you. Gateway teams aren’t afforded the luxury of dropping conference teams who aren’t remotely competitive. And certainly, Raines got the weakest of the three Dade County teams this year (First Coast got Miami Central, Ribault got Miami Norland). But the Vikings have handled the schedule given to them. I do think where the Raines-Bolles game falls on the schedule, later in the season rather than in the first month, benefits the Bulldogs. But come Oct. 29, line ’em up and let’s see who’s still standing. They’ll do it all over again the second week of the playoffs, too. I really believe the winner of that game will win the Class 4A state title.
4: Touchdowns scored by Bolles Isaiah Westbrook on Friday, two receiving, one rushing and one on a 90-yard kickoff return.
7: Touchdowns scored by Clay RB Bilal Ally on Friday in a 53-35 win over Menendez.
7: Winless teams after Friday. Creekside, Duval Charter, Harvest, Jackson, Middleburg, Stanton, Wolfson. One of those teams is guaranteed to win (Stanton and Harvest meet Nov. 6). But the remaining schedules for the others don’t shape up well for a victory. Some of the remaining games, especially for Creekside and Jackson, are very difficult.
8: Unbeatens left after Week 6. Bolles, Mandarin, Raines, St. Augustine, St. Joseph, Sandalwood, Trinity Christian, Union County. Two others, Christ’s Church and West Nassau, joined the one-loss club on Friday.
15: Consecutive district wins by First Coast dating back to the 2010 season before its loss to Fletcher on Friday. The Buccaneers last lost a district game on Nov. 6, 2009, a 26-17 defeat to Fletcher.
49: Consecutive district wins for St. Augustine after beating Englewood 45-6 on Friday. It is the longest streak in the area and one of the lengthiest in the state.
396: Rushing yards by Clay’s Ally. The total was the highest for an area back this season, supplanting the 347 from Providence’s Jamauri Wakefield in a Sept. 18 game against Creekside.
450: Career victory for Bolles coach Corky Rogers. What a milestone. Rogers, who is now 450-8-1, is one of just five coaches to reach that number. He nosed in front of George Curry (Berwick, Penn.), whose team lost 17-14 to Selinsgrove on Friday. Curry is 449-1-1-5 in his career.
* I expected First Coast to struggle offensively for a couple weeks this season as the transition from quarterback De’Andre Johnson played out. But had you told me the Buccaneers would be 1-4 entering Week 7, with that lone win over Arlington Country Day, I wouldn’t have believed you. First Coast has no running game to speak of. The last Buccaneers back to reach 1,000 yards in a season – James Breaker in 1997. And that inability to run the ball has meant teams can just step back and play pass defense. The Buccaneers aren’t anchored to the bottom yet. At just 0-1 in the area’s most confusing district, Friday’s loss was one they could afford to give. But that’s it.
* No team in Class 3A is catching Trinity Christian. I just don’t see it.
* Ribault through Sept. 11 games: 0-3. Ribault after Sept. 11: 3-0.
* Two running backs just putting their teams on their backs as the season wears on – Sandalwood’s Logan Wright and Oakleaf’s Keylan Brown. Brown had three scores and 223 yards Friday in a must-win game against Fleming. Wright scored all three Saints TDs in the second half, going for 170 yards on 30 carries in a 21-7 win over Flagler Palm Coast. Those guys may get overshadowed by others on their team, but man, what assets they’ve been. Brown may be the player who drags his team into the playoffs.
* More on Clay RB Bilal Ally and his crazy night.
He took the lion’s share of the work after fellow RB Colin Wilson suffered a concussion and just kept on going. Clay led Menendez 26-0 at one point and then it got interesting late. But the Blue Devils kept stuffing the ball in Ally’s stomach and he kept right on delivering.
“He had some runs, I just can’t wait to watch the film,” said Clay coach Josh Hoekstra. “He’s using his speed and just running powerful.”
* The best week of games as a whole? Oct. 16. All the following are district games and playoff spots will be decided on this night in two weeks.
Bartram Trail at Gainesville Buchholz.
Bishop Kenny at Ponte Vedra.
Cedar Creek Christian at UC.
Episcopal at Providence.
Lee at First Coast.
Mandarin at Sandalwood.
Ribault at Suwannee.
St. Augustine at White.
Week two of district games are in the books for many teams. Here’s a breakdown of the frontrunners as we reach Week 7.
Looking good: Mandarin, Sandalwood.
My take: Mandarin at Sandalwood on Oct. 16 for the district title, barring some upset.
Looking good: Columbia
In the mix: Atlantic Coast, First Coast, Fletcher, Lee.
My take: Behind Columbia, who I think takes this district, it’s the most muddled around.
Looking good: Bartram Trail, Buchholz.
In the mix: Oakleaf.
Needs a lot of help: Creekside, Fleming Island.
My take: I think the Bobcats come out with the district title. Game to circle for a playoff spot Oakleaf at Bartram on Oct. 30.
Looking good: Nease, St. Augustine.
In the mix: Englewood, White.
Needs a lot of help: Middleburg.
My take: St. Augustine’s district to lose. Nease, having already beaten White, is the likely runner-up here unless the Commanders can pull off an upset of the Yellow Jackets on Oct. 16.
Looking good: Ribault, Suwannee.
Needs a lot of help: Paxon, Stanton, Yulee.
My take: Perhaps Yulee makes it interesting, but that’s about the only speed bump to what should be the Trojans and Bulldogs coming out of here.
Looking good: Bishop Kenny, Parker, Ponte Vedra.
Needs a lot of help: Westside, Wolfson.
My take: Kenny and Ponte Vedra should come out of here unless Parker can pull off an upset of one of those teams.
Looking good: Clay.
In the mix: Baker County, Menendez, Orange Park, Palatka.
Needs a lot of help: Ridgeview.
My take: Clay likely wins this barring any more major injuries. Runner-up is a logjam.
Looking good: Bolles, Raines.
Needs a lot of help: Fernandina Beach, Jackson, West Nassau.
My take: Everyone else is playing for third.
Looking good: Keystone Heights, Santa Fe.
Needs a lot of help: Bradford.
My take: Keystone has a good shot at a playoff berth, although likely as runner-up here.
Looking good: Trinity Christian.
In the mix: Episcopal, Duval Charter, Providence.
My take: It’s a race for runner-up and it’s going to come down to Episcopal and Providence on Oct. 16.
Looking good: Cedar Creek Christian, University Christian.
Needs a lot of help: Eagle’s View, Harvest.
My take: UC and Cedar Creek will represent this district in the playoffs.
Looking good: Fort White, Hawthorne, Union County.
Needs a lot of help: Baldwin, Hilliard.
Week 7 schedule
Friday, Oct. 9
Arlington CD (0-4) at Vernon (4-1)
Atlantic Coast (3-3) at Providence (1-4)
Bartram Trail (4-2) at Ponte Vedra (5-1)
Belleview (0-5) at Keystone Heights (3-2), 7:30
Bishop Snyder (2-4) at Cedar Creek Christian (4-1)
Bradford (3-3) at Fernandina Beach (2-4)
Columbia (4-1) at Bolles (6-0), 7:30
Duval Charter (0-5) at Fletcher (4-2)
Eagle’s View (1-4) at University Christian (4-1), 7:30*
First Coast (1-4) at Raines (5-0)
Flagler Palm Coast (1-4) at Palatka (2-3), 7:30
Fort White (3-2, 1-0) at Hilliard (2-3, 0-2), 6-1A, 7:30*
Hawthorne (4-2, 2-0) at Union County (5-0, 1-0), 6-1A, 7:30*
Jackson (0-5) at Ribault (3-3)
Jefferson County (3-2) at Potter’s House (3-2)
Lee (3-2) at Sandalwood (6-0)
Mandarin (5-0) at Wolfson (0-6)
Middleburg (0-6) at Baker County (2-3)
Orlando Christian Prep (6-0) at Christ’s Church (5-1)
Paxon (1-5) at Parker (2-3)
Stanton (0-5) at Baldwin (1-4)
St. Johns Country Day (1-3) at St. Joseph (5-0)
Trinity Christian (5-0) at Tallahassee Godby (2-3)
West Nassau (4-1) at Nease (3-2)
Westside (1-5) at Fleming Island (2-3), 7:30
Yulee (2-3) at Bishop Kenny (3-2)
Seacoast Christian at Hernando Christian, 4
First Coast Christian at FISH, 7:30
Geneva Classical at Beacon of Hope
Lakeside at Old Plank Christian
Off: Clay, Cornerstone Christian, Creekside, Englewood, Episcopal, Florida Deaf, Harvest Community, Menendez, Oakleaf, Orange Park, Ridgeview, St. Augustine, White.