When unbeaten Evans plays Dr. Phillips Friday, the result will be a measuring stick of how far the Trojans have come this fall.
"It`s big, real big," Evans Coach J. B. Gordon concedes about the Metro Conference and Class 6A, District 3 showdown of top defense vs. top offense among big schools. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. at Evans Stadium.
"If we`re going to win the district and the conference, it`s real big," he repeated.
Back in August, Dr. Phillips won a Kickoff Classic match between the two squads, 28-27. Since that time Evans has not lost, winning five in a row, four in the district.
"They will be ready to play us," Gordon said. "Everybody plays us tough."
"I know they are better than when we played them before," Dr. Phillips` Coach Jim Bernhardt said. "And I would like to believe we are a better team, too. The good news for us is we are healthy. The question is how we will respond coming off two consecutive losses."
The secret of Evans` success, Gordon believes, is togetherness and competitiveness.
"At times, in the past, we didn`t know which team was going to show up," Gordon said. "This group really loves to play. They play hard in practice and they play hard in the games. It`s so competitive in practice, it`s like a war zone out there."
Dr. Phillips` offense includes three of Central Florida`s most productive athletes -- sophomore quarterback Rob Wages, junior receiver Ryan Moore and senior running back Jamar Smith. Moore has caught an Orange County-leading 32 passes for 467 yards.
Mount Dora (2-5, 1-3) vs. Bishop Moore (3-4, 1-2)
At Bishop Moore HS, 7:30 p.m.
Significance: Hornets trying to give Gary Preisser an opportunity to have winning season in first year back in coaching, so this is must win.
Key matchups: Mount Dora running back Marcus Robinson vs. Hornet defensive back Dante Buckley.
The buzz: Bishop Moore`s offense has improved since moving Mike Malatesta to running back, and the Hornets match up better, speed wise, against Mount Dora in the non-district game.
Boone (5-3, 2-3) vs. Jones (0-8, 0-3)
At Norton Baker Field, 7:30 p.m.
Significance: Boone still is looking for its first winning season since Stacy Mack led the charge in 1992.
Key matchups: Boone QB Tyjuan Massey vs. Jones running back Charles Anthony.
The buzz: Tyjuan Massey continues to give the Braves all-purpose opportunities. In a tough loss to Winter Park, Massey returned a kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown, ran six yards on a keeper for a TD and passed to Jonathan Hurt for a score, caught two passes as a receiver and played on occasion at cornerback.
Evans set for test from Dr. Phillips
We've upgraded our reader commenting system. Learn more about the new features.
Los Angeles Times welcomes civil dialogue about our stories; you must register with the site to participate. We filter comments for language and adherence to our Terms of Service, but not for factual accuracy. By commenting, you agree to these legal terms. Please flag inappropriate comments.
Having technical problems? Check here for guidance.