JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – And then there were two.
Bolles and University Christian are the only teams left standing in the high school football season following the third round of the state playoffs.
Top-seeded Bolles punched its ticket to the state semifinals with a hard-fought 16-6 win over sixth-seeded Bradford on Friday night. Kade Frew rushed for 200 yards and freshman kicker Matthew Berry booted three field goals for the Bulldogs (10-1). Ben Netting had a touchdown pass to Davis Ellis for the Bolles points. Nedro Davis had an interception return for a touchdown for the Tornadoes (6-6).
Bolles will host Cocoa (8-3) in the state semifinals next Friday. It’s the first meeting between the two programs since the Tigers beat the Bulldogs in the Class 4A state championship in 2016, the final game of iconic coach Corky Rogers’ career.
University Christian built a 21-point lead over visiting Tallahassee Maclay and hung on at the end for a 35-28 win on Friday night. The Christians (11-1) took a 35-14 lead with 6:13 to play on a 2-yard touchdown run by QB Desirrio Riles. But Maclay stormed back with a pair of touchdowns after that, although couldn’t recover an onside kick inside the final two minutes and UC drained the clock for a much-tighter than expected win.
Riles threw scoring passes to Marques Moulds and Jerome Manning in the first half as UC built a 28-14 lead at the break. Jamari Fudge had a 7-yard scoring run. Octavius Clayton and Orel Gray had interceptions for the Christians. Gray’s pick at the UC 1 killed a Maclay drive before half that proved huge.
UC will travel to face Lakeland Victory Christian in the state semifinals next week.
Lee’s season ended on the road at unbeaten Pensacola Escambia on Friday night with a 39-13 loss. The Generals finished their season 8-4. Devin Smith had an interception return for a touchdown for Lee to get the Generals within 14-7 in the opening quarter, but things spiraled from there. Cobie Bates had a touchdown run for Lee.
The area’s four playoff survivors bowed out in the second round of the state playoffs, most of those in blowouts. Brunswick lost to Harrison 51-19 and Glynn Academy couldn’t get past Dacula in a 42-20 rout in Class 6A. Buford pounded Ware County 34-6 in 5A. And Pierce County’s unbeaten season came to a painful loss in Class 3A, dropping a 32-29 game to Hart County in double overtime.
(1) Harrison 51, (3) Brunswick 19
(1) Dacula 42, (2) Glynn Academy 20
(2) Buford 34, (1) Ware County 6
(2) Hart County 32, (1) Pierce County 29 (2 OT)
Class 4A state semifinals, Nov. 29
(1) Cocoa (8-3) at (1) Bolles (10-1)
Class 2A state semifinals
(1) University Christian (11-1) at (1) Victory Christian (10-1)