County clashes are everywhere you look this week as Nease and Ponte Vedra host St. Augustine and Bartram Trail, respectively.
Anytime you play county rivals, there are a lot of bragging rights on the line, but that goes up even a few more notches when it’s the Yellow Jackets and the Bears, based off years of established success by those programs.
The Yellow Jackets enter Friday’s contest against the Panthers with a record of 3-2 and have been explosive to say the least, averaging 36 points per game.
It’s rare to have two teams on such equal footing, but the Panthers (5-1) also like to push the pace and connect on big plays and will enter averaging 36 points a game as well.
Expect the scoreboard to get a workout with the amount of times it could change in this game.
With both offenses being so productive, the keys to the game lie heavily with the defense, which favors the Panthers who appear to have the slight edge allowing 18 points per game, compared to 20 points surrendered by the Yellow Jackets.
Sophomore running back Devonte Lyons is a playmaker for the Yellow Jackets, as he leads them in both rushing (488) and receiving (95) yards, while all eyes will remain as it has been in recent weeks on Marcus Stokes and his bevy of dynamic receivers.
The Sharks (3-3) will face a tough test against Bartram Trail, but they are looking to rebound from a frustrating loss a week ago against Fleming Island, and what better way to do it than to beat the 4-1 Bears.
Playing the game at home should help the Sharks, who have been supported all year despite some bad luck in those home contests and still looking for their first win at home on the season.
If the Sharks are to reward their home faithful with a massive win, it will start with excellent defensive play and consistent play from quarterback Nathan Bunkosky, who has shown that ability more than once this season.
Both games start at 7 p.m.