EUSTIS (2-1) at TAVARES (1-1)

7 p.m., Dr. Argin A. Boggus Stadium

This is the Class 5A-District 13 opener for both teams. Eustis won last year’s game 47-11. Last week, Eustis fell to Ocala Forest 25-0, while Tavares beat Umatilla 14-8. Tavares is looking for continued improvement from sophomore quarterback Tyler Schwarz, who has become the leader of the Bulldogs offense. For Schwarz to be successful with the passing game, running backs Nikolas Gonzalez and James Barnes will have to continue to step up and force opposing defenses to respect the Bulldogs’ running game. On the defensive side of the ball for Tavares, Parker Sears, Jason Keene and Javier Moton lead the way. For Eustis, the game represents an opportunity to get back on track after a disappointing loss. Eustis coach Mike Hay said the team is prepared for a tough game against a longtime rival. “Tavares is coming off a big in-county win,” Hay said. “They are well coached and play very sound, disciplined football. They are big and physical up front on both sides of the ball. After coming off a tough loss last week, we will look to get on track in the start of district play. We had a good week of practice and are excited once again to go out and compete against a good Tavares team.”


7:30 p.m., Inman Sherman Field

This is a Class 4A-District 4 opener for both teams. Last year, South Sumter beat Umatila 41-21 in a game that was tight heading into the fourth quarter. South Sumter got back on track last week with a 47-28 win against Brooksville Hernando. Umatilla scored its first points of the season in a 14-8 loss to Tavares. The Bulldogs are still a work in progress and likely will be for the entire season, but appear to be making progress under first-year coach Ryan Mills. "South Sumter is a very, very good team," Mills said. "But, I see things on film that I think we can exploit and stay in the football game. Perhaps it's the dumb coach in me or just the competitor, but I believe we have a chance to give them a run for their money." Against South Sumter, Umatilla will be stretched to the limit in terms of personnel. South Sumter is expected to dress nearly 70 players for the game, while the Bulldogs will suit up less than 30. As the game wears on, the Raiders’ superiority in terms of roster size likely will become a factor on what promises to be a warm, humid evening. And then there is the home-field factor. South Sumter is nearly impossible to beat at Inman Sherman Field. The Raiders have lost only one regular-season game at home — last year against Dunnellon — since 2011. In last week’s game against Hernando, the Raiders gained 387 yards of total offense, but surrendered 410 yards, including 337 yards on the ground. Brandel Colbert led the Raiders’ ground attack with 97 yards on 13 carries. South Sumter had four runners with at least 64 yards. South Sumter coach Ty Lawrence hopes the woes at stopping the running game will be corrected this week when four defensive starters return to the starting lineup.


7 p.m., Sam Momary Stadium

This is a Class 7A-District 4 contest. Last year, Lake Minneola beat Hagerty 28-21 en route to a 4-0 start. Last week, the Hawks had a bye week, while Hagerty upset Oviedo 17-10 in one of the biggest games of the year in Seminole County. The Hawks are struggling to rebuild following graduation and a rezoning issue that moved some players to South Lake. Against South Lake on Sept. 6, a 28-14 loss, Lake Minneola struggled with its passing game. Tyrek Hill was ineffective through the air, but the Hawks did manage 147 yards in the first half against the Eagles. Late in the game, however, when they fell behind, Lake Minneola’s lack of a passing game proved to be its downfall. Look for Fred Jackson, a workhorse out of the backfield, to carry to bulk of the workload for Lake Minneola. Hagerty is coached by Phil Ziglar, former longtime coach at Orlando Boone. The Huskies were 8-3 last year, advancing to the Class 7A regional quarterfinals. Ziglar is in his fourth season at Hagerty and the team improved its record in each of his first three seasons.


7:30 p.m., The Range

This is the Class 4A-District 4 opener for both teams. Last week, Mount Dora struggled offensively and lost to Matanzas 20-13, while The Villages picked up its first win of the season, 31-7, against Keystone Heights. Mount Dora won last year’s game 27-24. “We weren’t prepared to play against Matanzas,” Mount Dora coach Chris Stephenson said. “And we only lost by a touchdown. I’m disappointed that we lost, but I’m pleased our kids worked and we had a chance to win. (Today’s) game is a must win for us. Not only is it a district game, but if we lose to The Villages, we’ll probably have to beat South Sumter and Dunnellon to have a shot at the playoffs.” The Villages are in virtually the same boat as Mount Dora. A loss against Mount Dora likely forces the Buffalo to beat South Sumter and Dunnellon to have any hope of a postseason berth. “Mount Dora will be a big challenge for us,” Buffalo coach Richard Pettus said. “Our players have been working hard to prepare for the game. I expect it to be a great high school football game.”


7 p.m., Wildcat Field

This is a non-district game. Frostproof is a Class 1A-District 8 team and Wildwood is competing as an independent after sitting out the 2015 season. Last week, Frostproof beat Tenoroc 19-13. Wildwood lost to First Academy of Leesburg 38-8. Against the Eagles, Wildwood struggled in the first half to hold on to the football. Quarterback Demarlon Lollar struggled with six fumbles before halftime, but seemed to iron out those problems in the second half. “Our kids are working hard and striving to be the best,” Wildwood coach Fred Anderson told supporters recently. “We’re trying to learn from our mistakes and we will get better as the season goes on.” And the feeling appears mutual as Wildwood supporters continue to show patience with the program. “We’re going to get this thing under wraps and then people are going to start fearing us again … period,” said Wildcats fan Marvin Coleman. Frostproof is a perennial Class 1A powerhouse. In their previous two losses, Frostproof surrendered at least 31 points, while scoring only 13. Today’s game is the final road game until Oct. 14 for Frostproof. Next up for Wildwood will be a road game to North Florida where the Wildcats will play Mayo Lafayette, Wildwood’s longest road trip of the season.


7:30 p.m., Ocala

After a one-point loss where Leesburg lost starting quarterback Wyatt Rector for the season last week, Yellow Jackets coach Doug Allison tried to get his team to look on the bright side. Things may not have started off the way Leesburg was hoping this year, but none of that really matters now. Instead, Allison pointed out that the most important thing for the Yellow Jackets is getting off to a good start in district play, and that begins tonight as Leesburg travels to take on Forest in Ocala. A year ago the Yellow Jackets went into this game with a 2-1 record having posted big wins over Eustis and South Lake. This year Leesburg is coming off losses to both those teams. Now the Yellow Jackets are looking to also reverse last year’s outcome against Forest, a 31-17 loss in Leesburg. To do that the Yellow Jackets will need strong play from their new starting quarterback, sophomore AJ Graham. Coming in for the injured Rector on the first possession last week, Graham threw a touchdown pass and rushed for a team-high 53 yards on 10 carries. Forest has relied on its defense and an efficient offense to start out 2-0 for the first time since 2011. Forest leads the series with the Yellow Jackets 23-10.

EAST RIDGE (1-1) at SOUTH LAKE (2-1)

7 p.m., Eagles Field

South Lake comes into the game on a roll, having won two big games in the span of four days last week. The Eagles knocked off Lake Minneola 28-14 in a big rivalry game on Tuesday night and then turned around and beat Leesburg 19-18 on the road last Friday night. "It's going to be a good test for our young guys," South Lake coach Mark Woolum said. "We are playing a lot of 10th graders this year because we are young. On the other side there are a lot of new faces on the East Ridge team that we didn't face two years ago. It's always great for us to play a larger school in preparation for our district play. We will give it all we have and continue to grow as a team." The two schools did not play last year and two years ago South Lake put a 62-3 whipping on East Ridge as the Knights were going through a winless season. But East Ridge turned the program around last year in Ashour Peera’s second season, boasting one of the top offenses in the state. This year East Ridge opened the year with a 59-14 loss to state powerhouse Miami Central but bounced back last week with a 32-17 win over Kissimmee Gateway. “Good match-up for us to play against a team that is hot right now and should be successful since they were young last season and now they have matured,” Peera said. “We should be able to learn from the experience this Friday. We are still looking for our identity and continuing to improve. South Lake has a veteran staff over there so they will be well prepared as will we.”


7 p.m., Jacksonville

Week by week, Mount Dora Christian Academy has been getting better and better. A year after posting a winless season, the Bulldogs have been a completely different team this season. But MDCA coach Jim Nichols is looking for even more. "After playing four games we still haven't played our best football yet and that is playing well in all four quarters,” Nichols said. “We feel like CCA is similar to us in a lot that we do, so this will be a good match for both teams. Should be a good game for fans to come watch. Our guys have had a good week of practice and are looking forward to this one for sure." After opening the season with a 14-7 loss to Triumph Christian Academy the Bulldogs have posted back-to-back comfortable wins. MDCA knocked off Ocala Christian 27-8 in a conference game and beat Halifax Academy 32-14 last week. This game is a chance to go to 2-0 in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference’s Coral North Florida division.


7 p.m.. Ocala

First Academy looks to move to 2-0 in the Sunshine State Athletic Conference’s Coral North Florida division with a road game against Ocala Christian. The Eagles have come on strong after a difficult 7-6 loss against Legacy Charter in the season opener. First Academy has demolished its last two opponents, beating Jacksonville Bishop Snyder 42-6 and then going to Wildwood and beating the Wildcats 38-8. The Eagles continue to be led by outstanding junior quarterback Caleb Lynum on offense and junior linebacker Tommy Lea on defense.