Volusia High School Football Preview: 9/23


Volusia County has an exciting slate of high school football games this Friday within the 3S and 4S District 9 Divisions.

The Seabreeze Sandcrabs (0-3), coached by Pat Brown, look to capture not just their first win in their home stadium versus the DeLand Bulldogs (1-2), but their first win of the season. The Bulldogs are coached by Stetson University alumni Rick Darlington.

Darlington had a spectacular coaching record at Apopka High School, earning 30 playoffs wins in two stints totaling 17 years with a career record of 167-47 and three state championships. He looks to turn the Bulldogs’ season around by getting back to a .500 winning percentage.

The Sandcrabs have had trouble generating offense early in the game, specifically in their run game leaving them to play catchup by halftime. Both teams have not played since September, 9th so hopefully the rest and extra practice benefits both teams.

The 2-1 Mainland Buccaneers will travel to Minneola for their first away game of the season. They'll play the 4-0 Minneola Hawks, who have soared to an undefeated record almost at-will after a month. The Hawks have won two games at home and on the road, but their scores reflect clear home field advantage. Their away games have a combined score of 59-41, significantly closer than their 102-6 differential of points at home. All factors considered, the game could very well come down to the wire, especially after the Bucs secured a win this past Monday versus Flagler Palm Coast.

Speaking of teams that are on fire, Deltona High School (4-0) hosts the inverse-record Liberty Chargers (0-4) from Kissimmee. The Chargers have failed to score a single point all year, being outscored 174-0. The Wolves coached by Jeff Smothers, look to improve to 5-0 at the halfway mark of the year, before traveling to Daytona Beach for an away game versus Seabreeze.

Pine Ridge High School (0-4) hosts Lake Howell (2-2) in what also looks to be a matchup ready for a lot of scoring. The Pine Ridge Panthers have not struggled as much as the aforementioned Liberty Chargers but have lost their games by an average of 44.5 points. Meanwhile, it seems the Lake Howell Silver Hawks aren’t sure what type of football team they want to be. In each of their wins, they won by at least two possessions, and in each of their losses, they lost by at least two scores.

Lastly, the University High School Titans (2-2) travel to Flagler Palm Coast (3-1) to try and mimic the 49-0 blowout they gave the winless Pine Ridge Panthers the week before. Flagler Palm Coast was 3-0 until their rescheduled Monday night loss at Mainland, so FPC looks to bounce back at home versus the Titans, who are on a two-game win streak.

All games starting at 7:00 pm local time. Teams who rest this weekend are live in the 4S District 9 division, the Spruce Creek Hawks (1-3) and New Smyrna Barracudas (2-1). Spruce Creek lost their game last weekend versus Andrew Jackson by a score of 35-6, and will take this week to prepare for an away contest versus division rival, the DeLand Bulldogs.

The New Smyrna Barracudas on the other hand won their game 41-6 at Crystal Lake and will take the off
week to prepare for their next game, away versus the University Titans, who are also in their division.

As always, the game of football is unpredictable, dangerous but exhilarating. However, the priority of the sport is always safety. Choose a game, be a good sport and let the kids play.