JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville high schools went two for three Friday night.
Two of three high school football teams who hosted state semi-final games Friday night won in front of big crowds to earn state final appearances for Mandarin (8A) and Raines (4A), while Trinity Christian lost a heartbreaker in 5A.
Raines began the parade to the state finals with a 48-0 win over Dunellon.
Jacorey Rivers connected with Davarius Thomas in the first quarter to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead. The Raines defense set up another touchdown on a James Tarver Jr. interception. In the second quarter, senior running back Brandon Marshall's long touchdown run gave Raines a 20-0 lead and they rolled from there.
The Vikings will play in the 4A finals for the second straight year. Raines beat Cocoa in 2017 for the school's second state title. This year, the Vikings will face Cocoa for the 4A championship at 7 p.m. on Thursday in Orlando.
Mandarin also took care of business with a 45-31 win over Riverview Sarasota behind a huge day from quarterback Carson Beck, who threw for 462 yards and three touchdowns in the win. He also ran for a score. The Mustangs have never before played in the state finals. That will change at 8 p.m. on Saturday in Orlando when Mandarin faces Columbus for the 8A title. Mandarin will also attempt to become the first Jacksonville-area team to win an 8A.
Trinity Christian fell for the first time this year, falling 29-25 to North Marion. The Conquerors trailed North Marion 14-7 at halftime, before coming back to lead 25-22 thanks to a 32-yard field goal by Clayton Roerig with 1:45 to play in the game. But North Marion regained the lead with 24 seconds to play on a Brenden Shipp 15-yard touchdown reception and the Conquerors fumbled the ball away on their final possession with seven seconds to play, ending their season 13-1.