The handshakes exchanged at midfield on the 21st night of September were a complete 180 from the attitude throughout the 48 grueling minutes of high school football. In the matchup that pit Marion County vs. Alachua County, the Vanguard Knights ran circles around the Buchholz Bobcats… But that didn’t mean the away team went down without a fight: not necessarily in the game, but the players were so competitive, they almost did get in a fight.
The Knights improved to 2-1 on the season and knocked the Bobcats to a lowly 1-3. Vanguard is touted as one of if not the best team in Marion County. The final score, a blowout at 35-7, reflected both Vanguard’s offensive prowess (wide receiver Cameron Livingston had 196 receiving yards and two touchdowns) and defensive intensity (Buchholz’ only score came on a blocked punt in the endzone).
It was Vanguard’s first home game, after a massive 56-7 loss to the nation’s then-15th-ranked Camden County, Ga. in their first week. The Knights rebounded the next week and lanced North Marion, also regarded as one of Marion’s best teams, in a 20-14 victory.