The Mainland Buccaneers travel to Lakeland Nov. 16, to take on Lake Gibson in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
BY MATT MENCARINI | STAFF WRITER
Before the final seconds fell off the scoreboard in Mainland’s win over Olympia, the Buccaneers’ coaching staff already had an eye toward game two.
Mainland (7-3) travels to Lakeland Nov. 16, to play Lake Gibson (10-0) in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs.
“We’ve already started (preparing),” head coach Scott Wilson said Nov. 9, after the victory. “And we’re going to be going at it (Saturday) morning and go all the way through (the week). We’re getting ready now.”
The first step in preparing his players was to correct mistakes made in the Olympia game, which Wilson said would happen during a Monday film session.
After that, the players’ focus will be on the Fighting Braves, and their stout defense, as Wilson describes it, as well as stopping quarterback Trey Congdon and running back Tyler Brown.
“We have to limit the mistakes, for sure,” Wilson said. “I know they have a great balance in running and passing.”
A win at Lake Gibson means the Bucs’ seniors might get another chance to play at Daytona Beach Municipal Stadium. It’s a senior class Wilson said has done a lot for the football program.
“These guys, they just want it so badly,” Wilson said of the seniors. “They’re great leaders and they’re getting all these young guys around them better. They’re strengthening the entire team. And that’s what we’ve needed to do.”
Bucs beat Titans on Senior Night
Mainland didn’t play a perfect game Nov. 9, but the team made plays when it needed them.
The Buccaneers ended the regular season with a 25-14 win over the visiting Olympia Titans on Senior Night.
Early in the second half, Cameron Hadley completed a pass on third and 13, for what would’ve been a first down. However, the receiver fumbled the ball into the air and Olympia recovered and took over possession inside Buccaneers territory.
But Mainland defensive back Chris Scott intercepted a tipped pass and ran it back 63 yards to set up a Stephen Bostick touchdown, pushing the score to 17-7 in the third quarter.
In the first quarter, on third down, Hadley scrambled and ran right, looking for a first down, when he fumbled and the Titans recovered.
“When you live by running the ball, and using Cameron Hadley the way that we do — the explosiveness — it’s going to happen every once in awhile,” Wilson said. “We just have to fix it.”
John Armstrong scored on a long run on the ensuing Olympia possession to put the visitors up 7-0, early in the game.
Another first quarter mistake actually benefited the Buccaneers, though.
Mainland lined up for a field goal, and after a bad snap, Hadley scrambled left and found a receiver in the end zone. However, penalty brought up another fourth down for Mainland.
The Buccaneers punched the ball into the end zone several plays later and ended the drive with seven points, instead of a potential field goal.