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October 25, 2013
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PLAYERS TO WATCH:
RB Buddy Edwards, QB Caleb Cox, LB Austin Dukes
DE Payton Parnell, RB Alphonso Timmons, RB Deshawn Roland
THE OUTLOOK -- As good as the Chiefland offense has been at home, the defense has been even better. The Indians have only allowed 44 points in seven games, including three shutouts. They are averaging 15.4 tackles for a loss per game (108 total). Parnell leads the way with 28 of those tackles behind the line scrimmage, along with a team-leading seven sacks. Sophomore linebacker Billy Hammond leads the team in tackles (9.7 per game), while GG McClendon has intercepted four passes with three of the picks covering 27 yards or more.
Union County began the season 5-0 and was ranked No. 1 in Class 1A before the loss in Cross City. Last week, with their backs against the wall, the Tigers responded at home by routing Newberry, 49-14. In that game, the Tigers blocked two punts, one of which was returned for a TD, and scored the final 43 points to secure the victory. Cox is among the leaders in the Gainesville-area with 969 yards, nine TDs and only two interceptions. Meanwhile, Edwards is averaging 6.18 yards per carry and leads the team with eight touchdowns on the ground.
Dukes leads the team with 71 tackles, including 11 for a loss, followed by Alden McClellon (56 tackles), who leads the team with 15 tackles for a loss. The Tigers are allowing less than 10 points per game but they will have to stay disciplined and in their gaps to slow down Timmons (873 yards and 7 TDs), Roland (749 all-purpose yards) and QB Shaquille Patterson, who has only completed 14 of his passes but he's averaging 25 yards per completion with 7 TDs and only one interception.
Newberry and Williston have already been eliminated from postseason consideration, making this district a three-horse race: Dixie County and Chiefland, who are currently unbeaten in league play, and Union County. The Tigers get Williston at home next week so a win tonight could go a long way in determining whether they go back to the playoffs.