South Sumter Raiders (0-1) at Trinity Catholic Celtics (0-0)

When: Friday

Where: Celtic Field, Ocala

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET

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Internet: South Sumter – RaiderLive.com

Coaches: Ty Lawrence, South Sumter; John Brantley III

Last Five Meetings
2019: Trinity Catholic 40, South Sumter 28
2018: South Sumter 21, Trinity Catholic 15
2017: Trinity Catholic 21, South Sumter 0
2016: South Sumter 27, Trinity Catholic 20
2015: South Sumter 58, Trinity Catholic 20

Skinny: In what has become one of the top games to watch every year in North Central Florida, the matchup between South Sumter and Trinity Catholic has given fans their monies worth and more on the field. Over the last five meetings, South Sumter is 3-2 with the teams trading the winning side over the last four meetings. For the visiting Raiders, they are coming off a remarkably close 18-13 loss to the defending Class 1A State Champion, Madison County. Running back Malachi Presley (2021) will be the key guy to watch for the Raiders after rushed 21 times for 117 yards and both touchdowns last week in the loss. While South Sumter does not pass as often Garhett Miller (2021) will take some shots here and there and will be a key factor if Trinity Catholic figures out a way to stop the Raiders’ run game. Defensively keep an eye on linebackers Trevor Moffitt (2021) and Austin Keefer (2021) who both had a sack each last week with 10 and 14 tackles total each, respectively. For the host Celtics, this will be the start of John Brantley’s second stint as the head coach. The last time he coached a game for the Celtics was Nov. 21, 2014, in a 20-10 loss to Jacksonville Trinity Christian in the Class 3A Regional Finals. Also, this will be Brantley’s first football as a coach since 2016 after leading Belleview to a district championship in his one-year stint with the Rattlers. Brantley has also brought back longtime assistant coach Justin Wentworth with him after he spent four years at Williston from 2015-2018 and spent last season as an assistant coach at Springstead.  Some key players to watch include All-State quarterback Cole Gonzales (2022) who comes in from Oak Hall. Gonzales was 137-of-238 last year for 2,112 yards with 24 touchdowns and just five interceptions. Gonzales also can run with the ball and he had another 885 yards rushing and 16 more touchdowns in 2019. Other key guys to watch include All-State running back Jamarian Samuel (2021) who rushed for 2,283 yards on 240 carries last season, scoring 20 touchdowns in the process while adding two receiving two touchdowns for good measure. Other guys to watch include defensive lineman Matthew Hewitson (2021), safety Malik McConico (2022), and kicker/punter Alvaro Cebrian (2021).

Joe Pinkos’ Forecast: Trinity Catholic by 4

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