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Week 1 high school football playoff picks: Big upset, 10 teams moving on

Fleming Island quarterback Dean Hyams and the Golden Eagles are one of just two area teams to finish the regular season unbeaten. (Ralph D. Priddy, Contributed photo)
Fleming Island quarterback Dean Hyams and the Golden Eagles are one of just two area teams to finish the regular season unbeaten. (Ralph D. Priddy, Contributed photo)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – News4Jax sports editor Justin Barney reveals his high school football Week 1 playoff predictions. Picks are published each Thursday during the season. All games are Friday at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated. Seeds are listed in parentheses. 

Last week: 18-14. Regular season: 265-95 (.736). 

Region 1-8A

(8) Mandarin (7-3) at (1) Seminole (9-0): Mustangs start defense of their state championship on the road. In an upset. … N4J pick: Mandarin 26, Seminole 21

(6) Flagler Palm Coast (8-2) at (3) Apopka (8-1): Blue Darters are always a threat for a deep playoff run. N4J pick: Apopka 27, FPC 20

(7) Spruce Creek (6-3) at (2) Bartram Trail (10-0): Is this the year that Bartram Trail puts it all together? Week 1 starts things out the right way. N4J pick: Bartram Trail 35, Spruce Creek 14

Region 1-7A

(6) Wekiva (7-3) at (3) Fleming Island (9-0): Golden Eagles make it 10 in a row in 2019. N4J pick: Fleming Island 31, Wekiva 27

Region 1-6A

(6) Columbia (7-3) at (3) Ponte Vedra (7-2): Can't figure out the Tigers' recent skid, but I think the schedule that they've played is the difference here. N4J pick: Columbia 31, Ponte Vedra 27

(7) St. Augustine (6-4) at (2) Lee (7-3), 6:30 p.m.: Both of these teams have been up and down at times this season. Generals hang on. N4J pick: Lee 31, St. Augustine 30

Region 1-5A

(8) Suwannee (5-5) at (1) Wakulla (10-0): Bulldogs got in to the playoffs in the final two weeks, but their run ends here. N4J pick: Wakulla 36, Suwannee 21

(5) Westside (8-2) at (4) Raines (5-4), 6:30 p.m.: Back and forth on this one throughout the week. Great season for the Wolverines, but I can't pick the two-time defending 4A state champs to go out this quickly. N4J pick: Raines 28, Westside 26

(6) Tallahassee Godby (4-6) at (3) Parker (7-2), 6:30 p.m.: What a season by the Braves, who enter this one on a seven-game winning streak. I think the Cougars' schedule tips the scales here. N4J pick: Godby 35, Parker 20

(7) Baker County (6-4) at (2) Pensacola Pine Forest (7-2), 8:30 p.m.: Panhandle football is always a difficult test for local teams. N4J pick: Pine Forest 31, Baker County 21

Region 2-5A

(6) Vanguard (7-2) at (3) Menendez (7-2): First home playoff game in Falcons' history. Great season for Menendez. N4J pick: Vanguard 34, Menendez 27

Region 1-4A

(6) Bradford (4-5) at (3) Gadsden County (5-4): Why not pick the Tornadoes to win on the road? N4J pick: Bradford 28, Gadsden County 21

Region 2-4A

(5) Astronaut (5-5) at (4) Keystone Heights (7-2): War Eagles leave Keystone with a tight victory. N4J pick: Astronaut 21, Keystone 20

Region 1-3A

(5) Trinity Christian (5-5) at (4) Ocala Trinity Catholic (7-3): Playoffs shouldn't be the easiest time of the year for any team. It is for the Conquerors, who will get 10-0 Pensacola Catholic next week. Those teams have playoff history. N4J pick: Trinity Christian 31, Trinity Catholic 21

(6) Baldwin (7-3) at (3) Episcopal (9-1): Rematch game. Indians won the first by 28. N4J pick: Baldwin 34, Episcopal 28

Region 1-2A

(6) St. Joseph (4-5) at (3) Aucilla Christian (9-0): Difficult opener for the Flashes. N4J pick: Aucilla 35, St. Joseph 13

Region 3-1A

(5) Branford (6-4) at (4) Hilliard (6-4): Red Flashes move on in a tight one. N4J pick: Hilliard 23, Branford 21

(6) Union County (5-5) at (3) Dixie County (6-3): Challenging opener for the Tigers. N4J pick: Dixie County 27, Union County 20

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.