Week 8 football preview

District play, playoff hopes in full swing


It is at that point in the season where playoff hopes for teams are either taking one step closer to being realized or dashed.

The Ponte Vedra Sharks (5-1) have already played and won a district game and look to improve that mark to 2-0 in district play when they face the Tocoi Creek Toros (4-3) at 7 p.m. Oct. 13.

This will be the first contest for the Toros in District 4-4S and the first meeting between the two St. Johns County schools on the football field.

The Sharks have been on quite the roll having won five straight since an season opening loss to Bartram Trail and during that stretch they have had their way with many of the opponents.

Progression continues to be made with each week that passes and it goes for both sides of the ball.

Offensively, the Sharks have displayed various weapons both in the passing and running games in recent weeks and in their victory over Bishop Kenny it was time for junior tight end Landon Okla to shine.

Okla reeled in three touchdown catches in the game and finished with 73 receiving yards.

He presents such a matchup threat for opponents because of his combination and size and speed, which allows him to outrun linebackers and win jump balls against most defensive backs.

It shows the depth of offensive playmakers that the Sharks have this year and having a tight end like that is just another reason why the Sharks’ offense continues to hit its stride.

After a tough stretch in September where Tocoi Creek lost three of four games, the Toros have appeared to have righted the ship with two straight wins.

However, they will have perhaps their toughest test of the season when they head into the Shark Tank this week.

Panthers begin quest for district title

The Nease Panthers will open their district slate this week at home against Flagler Palm Coast, who the Sharks defeated 31-0 a couple of weeks ago.

Although the Panthers (4-3) fell in a shootout to St. Augustine a week ago, they still showed that they can go head-to-head with some of the best teams in the area and were in position to win if things fell differently.

The confidence the Panthers have been finding in recent weeks continues to be in full effect even after the loss and that is an important factor heading into district play.

The Panthers appear to be catching the Bulldogs (2-4) at the right time, as they have been struggling to score points and have lost their past two games by a combined score of 84-7.

That should spell good things for the Panthers as they have shown that they have been clicking on both sides of the ball, accompanied by the fact that the Bulldogs must travel from Palm Coast for the contest.

Not to mention that the Panthers will be looking to bounce back after a tough loss to a rival and will surely want to re-establish their home field advantage.

Junior wide receiver Maddox Spencer enters the game needing just 31 more receiving yards to reach 1,000 for the season.

Nease Panthers, Ponte Vedra Sharks, high school football, Week 8