GAINESVILLE -- The more things change, the more they remain the same.
And so the saying goes that can describe the Gainesville Purple Hurricanes.
Gainesville, with its third coach in five years, won its second straight district title convincingly - downing the previously unbeaten Citrus Hurricanes 38-16 at Citizen's Field.
Gainesville has now won seven straight after opening the season with a loss to Lake City-Columbia.
Oregon-bound RB Tony James ran for 203 yards and a touchdown, helped the 6A runner-ups from 2012 get home field advantage for the first round of the post-season.
After a scoreless first quarter, Gainesville jumped out 14-0 on Kenric Young's 19 yard touchdown pass from QB Caelan Christian. James added a 13 yard run to put GHS up 14-0.
Citrus got back in the game with some trickeration - as quarterback Deion Moore connected on a 54-yard touchdown pass to receiver Desmond Franklin, on play-action.
That cut the lead to 14-7, but Christian hooked up with Donterio Evans from 8 yards out to give Gainesville a 21-7 halftime lead.
After a Citrus three-and-out to start the second half, the Purple
Hurricanes drove right down and extended their lead to 28-7 on a 3 yard run
by running back Tamarcus Faulkner. Citrus did answer right back on a
drive that just lasted a little more than two minutes. James Pouncey
punched it from two yards out and while Citrus missed the extra point, the
Hurricanes seemed to be back it in down 28-13. But the next 18 seconds
changed the game for good.
Evans, who Citrus had been kicking away from the entire game, took the ensuing kickoff and raced 80 yards to the end zone to put Gainesville in charge 35-13. From then pretty much the final score was the only thing in doubt.
Gainesville improves to 7-1, 3-0 in the district while the Citrus Hurricanes fall to 7-1 and 2-1. Gainesville ensured at least one home playoff game at Citizen's Field, where they have won 34 of their last 35 games and 16 in a row.
Gainesville will play Tallahassee Lincoln next week on the road and close out with 5A power Wakulla before the post-season.
The Purple Hurricanes await the shake out from District 6-6A, where Springstead (3-0) Land O'Lakes (2-1) and Sunlake (2-1)
Marty Pallman contributed to this report