Top Performers: Armwood vs. Gainesville


SEFFNER, Fla. -- The Florida High School Athletic Association class 6A third-round playoff game between nationally ranked Seffner Armwood (13-0) and Gainesville (10-3) turned out to be a lot closer than some expected.

Armwood won the game 17-14 on Friday night, but with a closer look, it’s easy to see why Gainesville was able to keep it close. Like Armwood, Gainesville has several Division I prospects. Here is a look at some of the top performers of the game:

Eric Striker, LB, (6-foot-1/195 pounds, Armwood): The Oklahoma commit registered two sacks and pressured the quarterback for most of the evening. Striker said after the game he is firmly committed to the Sooners and will enroll next fall.

Alvin Bailey, QB, (6-0/170, Armwood): The junior moved from wide receiver to quarterback just a few short weeks ago but led the Hawks with 172 yards passing and two touchdowns, he also added a team-high 72 rushing yards. Bailey said after the game he is starting to receive interest from both Florida and Tennessee but has no offers at this time.

Chris Bivins, DB, (5-11/170, Gainesville): Bivins, a USF commit, left in the first half with a leg injury, but still made his presence felt. Bivins blocked a punt that was returned 12-yards by a teammate for a touchdown. Bivins said Saturday that his knee should be fine.

Matt Jones, RB, (6-3/215, Armwood): The Florida commit was held in check for a majority of the night by a stingy Gainesville defense. Jones still made an impact in the passing game. With his team down 14-3 in the third quarter, Jones caught a 43-yard touchdown pass in which he went up over a defender to catch the ball in the end zone. Jones finished with only 23 yards on 14 carries but had two receptions for 50 yards.

Keith Kelsey Jr., LB, (6-2/215, Gainesville) and Tashon Whitehurst, LB, (6-2/205, Gainesville): Kelsey, a 2013 prospect, along with Syracuse linebacker commit Whitehurst, pretty much shut down Armwood’s attack for the first three quarters. Kelsey and Whitehurst held Jones, one of the top running backs in the Southeast, to just 23 rushing yards and a long run of 5 yards.

Kelsey’s dad, Keith Kelsey Sr., played linebacker at Florida, and the younger Kelsey is now receiving interest from the Gators. Kelsey said in addition to Florida, he is hearing form LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, USF, Miami and South Carolina.

Leon McQuay III, (6-2/185, Armwood): McQuay is expected to be one of the top safety prospects in the country next year. He didn’t have a big statistical night, but McQuay helped lead an Armwood secondary that shut down the Gainesville passing attack for a majority of the game.

Jerry Montgomery, Michigan’s defensive line coach was in attendance and thought highly enough of the junior that McQuay earned a scholarship offer from Michigan before Montgomery left. McQuay said after the game that he has Florida and Vanderbilt on top, but with the Michigan offer, that certainly could change.