The Gainesville Hurricanes (3-3) have undoubtedly their most important game of the season this Friday as they try to hand the undefeated Vanguard Knights (5-0) their first loss of the season.
Booster Stadium will be booming for kickoff at 7:30 for this conference game. Head coach Mark Latsko wants to keep their playoff dreams alive and knows this is a must-win against undefeated Vanguard. Gainesville had trouble getting their jets fueled at the start of the season, but grabbed their first win 45-0 against Lake Weir in Week 3 and a close win 22-21 over North Marion in Week 4. Coach Latsko says his team fights for four quarters but they fell short against Forest of Ocala in Week 5. Hurricane Matthew affected many games, but the Canes managed to strike hard against Buchholz in double overtime with a win 31-30 last week.
Luke Matthews returning from a concussion last week threw for 183 yards and connected with Isaiah Wilson for two touchdowns. Ty Boyd was also a big part of their attack, with 16 carries for 55 yards and a TD. Coach Latsko wants to focus on correcting mistakes they made continuously made this season like blocked punts, and getting off the field on 3rd down.
Vanguard has absolutely swept their opponents off their feet this season with high scores. If the Canes want a chance at this upset, they will have to play big defense and try and throw off QB N’kosi Perry, who is committed to Miami. They have allowed only seven touchdowns all season. Vanguard has a little poison in their veins from last season, as the Canes ended their playoff dreams. Vanguard is sure to be prepared this Friday night coming off a bye.
Coach Latsko says his players might be young, but they are gaining maturity with every game played. They will be tested this Friday night as they battle for their playoff life. Coach Latsko’s last words for his team, “Block, tackle, and don’t turn it over.” Let’s see if it’s that easy.