5 teams take field; 2 vie for state titles


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Five area high school football teams continue their playoff runs this weekend, two of which are vying for state titles.

Trinity Christian will take on Clearwater Central Catholic in the Class 3A state championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Trinity has defeated Father Lopez, Trinity Catholic and Tampa Catholic to earn their spot in the title game.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, Bolles will face Washington (Miami) for the Class 4A state championship. Bolles, a perennial power, has overrun Keystone Heights, Raines and Florida High in their bracket.

In Class 5A state semifinal action, Clay hosts Lakewood (St. Petersburg) 7:30 p.m. Friday. Clay has knocked off Ribault, Bishop Kenny and Pensacola Catholic to get to this point.

Also in a semifinal matchup, Bartram Trail travels to Armwood (Seffner) at 7:30 p.m. Friday to try to earn a spot in the Class 6A title game [Read more below]. Bartram Trail has beaten Ed White, Columbia and Choctawhatchee in their playoff run.

And in Georgia, Charlton County will take on Irwin County in a third-round Class A game. So far, Charlton County has gotten by Commerce and Seminole County.

Check News4Jax.com's Football Friday page for updated scores as they come in.

Bartram Trail flying high after 0-5 start, player hurt in crash

Bartram Trail has gone from having the worst record in St. Johns County to being the last team in the county left standing.

The Bears began the season losing their first five games but have won every game since. They've also had to deal with one of their players getting seriously hurt in a car crash.

On Friday, students, teachers and parents gave them a special sendoff before their game.

"It's awesome that the school comes together to support us at a time like this," team captain Will Tillo said. "Just what we've been through, the right to get here has been awesome. You know, we're soaking it up right now to go get this done tonight."

In 13-years the team has been to the state semifinals two other times but never made it to the championship.

This team lost wide receiver Aubrey Thompson (pictured) after he was thrown from a pickup truck. He's still in the hospital and remains on a ventilator, but is recovering.

"When a man goes down, we have to man up, and that's what we've been doing," Tillo said. "When we're playing, we're thinking about him, what he would give to be out here. So when we're tired, we think that what Aubrey would give to be back on that field."

"I think it shows a lot about us as a family," head coach Darrell Sutherland said. "Aubrey always has been a part of our team. These guys really care about and love each other. And I think that we have seen that in the way they responded, in the way the community's responded."