BAY AREA BITES

Lake Gibson vs Auburndale Primer

Super Early Lake Gibson (6-3) @ Auburndale (8-0)

Both of these teams clinched district championships last week. Lake Gibson claimed the 7A District 5 championship with their 42-6 win over Kathleen. Auburndale claimed the 6A District 7 championship with their 37-23 win over Eau Gallie. Don’t expect either team to coast into this game feeling satisfied though. This is a huge Polk County game (11.5.21) between two very talented teams with a lot to prove. Let’s get an idea of what to expect next Friday. 

The Braves and Bloodhounds faced three common opponents this season. Both teams went 3-0 in those games. Against Kathleen, Lake Gibson won 42-6 while Auburndale won 34-26. Against Bartow, Lake Gibson won 35-7 while Auburndale won 35-26. Lastly, against Winter Haven, Lake Gibson won 27-14 while Auburndale won 28-20. Lake Gibson’s average margin of victory in those games was 25.7 points. Comparatively, Auburndale’s average margin of victory was just 8.3 points. This definitely gives Lake Gibson the edge, but this game really could go either way. Both teams have playmakers that leave it all on the field every week. Here are some players that might end up being the difference-makers.

Lake Gibson 

2022 RB Jaylon Glover – 5’9” 205 lbs

The Utah commit is one of the top backs in the state for a reason. In eight games, he has carried the ball 177 times for 1,402 yards and 17 touchdowns. He is averaging 7.9 yards per carry and 200.3 yards per game against difficult competition. In their win over Lakeland, he had 285 yards and 5 touchdowns on 34 carries. In their loss on the road at Lowndes (GA), he had 224 yards and 4 touchdowns on 27 carries. He is a workhorse. His blend of power, speed, and vision is excellent. The Bloodhounds will see a lot of him on Friday.

Jaylon Glover – Hudl

2022 SS Landon Brown – 6’1” 200 lbs

In seven games, Brown has 48 total tackles, 32 solos, 14.5 for loss, 2 sacks, and 1 interception. He is a patient defender with a great football IQ. You can see him breaking down plays as they develop and then coming up to make stops. He tackles well and is very consistent overall. 

Landon Brown – Hudl

2023 CB Cormani McClain – 6’2” 175 lbs

McClain is an extremely gifted junior athlete who is already rated as one of the top overall players in the nation for the 2023 class. In seven games this season, he leads the team with 5 interceptions and also has 14 tackles, 12 solos, 6 pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, and 1 recovery. He has also seen a lot of time at receiver where he has contributed 336 total yards and 1 touchdown.

Cormani McClain – Hudl

Photo: Cormani McClain

Auburndale

2022 QB Zach Tanner – 6’1” 187 lbs

Tanner has been very efficient this season. He has completed 77 out of 119 passing attempts for 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns. He is completing 65% of his passes and averaging 205 passing yards per game. He has been efficient with his legs as well. He has carried the ball 45 times for 355 yards (7.9 ypc) and 2 touchdowns. He is a fun QB to watch. He is great at keeping plays alive and distributing the ball to his receivers. His arm strength allows him to make accurate throws all over the field.

Zach Tanner – Hudl

Photo: Zach Tanner

2023 DB/RB Jerrod Johnson – 5’10” 175 lbs

Johnson is a ballplayer. He is fast, physical, and has excellent ball skills on both sides of the ball. On offense, he has 84 carries for 663 yards (7.9 ypc) and 12 touchdowns. He also has 5 receptions for 109 yards. On defense, he has 61 total tackles, 41 solos, 6 tackles for loss, 6 interceptions with 1 returned for a touchdown, 4 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries, and 3 pass break-ups. Some untimely flags seem to have kept him from being credited with some other big plays as well. This junior has a motor and is fun to watch.

Jerrod Johnson – Hudl

2022 DB/WR Elijah Davis – 6’1” 165 lbs

Davis is another exciting two-way player. In their eight wins, he has 26 receptions for 600 yards and 5 touchdowns. On defense, he has 35 total tackles, 26 solo tackles, 3 interceptions with 150 return yards, 1 interception returned for a touchdown, 2 fumble recoveries, and 6 pass break-ups. He has track speed and some great explosive ability. When you have guys like Johnson and Davis playing both ways at such a high level, good things happen.

Elijah Davis – Hudl