JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school football season is back and so are our weekly predictions.
News4Jax sports editor Justin Barney reveals his weekly high school football picks each Thursday. All games are 7 p.m. unless indicated.
Last week: 7-2. Season: 7-2.
Thursday, Sept. 10
Note: Records not listed if teams have not played yet
Englewood at Jackson, 6 p.m.: Expecting big things from the Tigers this season. N4J pick: Jackson 32, Englewood 14.
Friday, Sept. 11
Baker County (1-0) at Orange Park: Wildcats played in front of a capacity crowd last week and made my pick of them losing look foolish. N4J pick: Baker County 35, Orange Park 14.
Bartram Trail at Creekside: Battle of Longleaf Pine Parkway goes to the No. 1 Bears. N4J pick: Bartram Trail 39, Creekside 24.
Bolles at Trinity Christian, 7:30 p.m.: Game of the night. Maybe of the year. Bulldogs in a close one. N4J pick: Bolles 27, Trinity 23.
Dixie County at Union County, 7:30 p.m.: New coach for the Tigers and a home victory to start the season. N4J pick: Union County 28, Dixie County 14.
Eagle’s View (1-0) at Christ’s Church (1-0): A good small school game early. Host Eagles get the W here. N4J pick: Christ’s Church 34, Eagle’s View 20.
Episcopal at Bishop Kenny: Split on this game because I think it’s a close one. N4J pick: Episcopal 27, Kenny 26.
Fernandina Beach (0-1) at Interlachen: Pirates looked good in a loss last week to rival Yulee. Are they turning the corner in 2020? N4J pick: Fernandina Beach 27, Interlachen 20.
First Coast at Ribault, 6 p.m.: First game for new Trojans head coach Marlon White and it’s a close one. N4J pick: First Coast 14, Ribault 13.
Hilliard (1-0) at Paxon, 6 p.m.: Red Flashes took some time to get moving last week but got a win. They step up in classification here for a challenge. N4J pick: Paxon 27, Hilliard 22.
Keystone Heights at Bradford (0-1), 7:30 p.m.: I picked the Tornadoes last week and they promptly got butchered. N4J pick: Bradford 21, Keystone Heights 14.
Mandarin at Atlantic Coast, 6 p.m.: Always a good one between the county rivals. AC will be much better in 2020, but is that enough to beat the Mustangs for the first time since 2014? N4J pick: Mandarin 27, Atlantic Coast 20.
NFEI at Williston (0-1): Liked what I saw last week from NFEI in a scrimmage against Providence. N4J pick: NFEI 28, Williston 14.
Oakleaf at Gainesville Buchholz: Buchholz always tends to provide tough competition, but it won’t be enough to topple the Knights. N4J pick: Oakleaf 32, Buchholz 21.
Palatka (0-1) at Fleming Island, 7:30 p.m.: Golden Eagles will have a case as one of the best in the area this season. N4J pick: Fleming Island 38, Palatka 7.
Parker at Fletcher, 6 p.m.: One of the better matchups of the week and, to me, a significant test for the Braves. Parker has beaten the Senators twice since 1997. N4J pick: Fletcher 28, Parker 26.
Ponte Vedra at Nease: A test for both out of the gate. Panthers were better than their record last year, but graduated some impact players. Sharks were a Super 10 team and reached the playoffs. This rivalry game is always a great one. N4J pick: Ponte Vedra 28, Nease 14.
Providence at Stanton, 6 p.m.: Tough game to call, but I’ll take the host Blue Devils here. N4J pick: Stanton 21, Providence 20.
Raines at Venice (0-1), 7:30 p.m.: Tough opener for the Vikings, who go on the road to face an Indians team that was just drilled by IMG. N4J pick: Venice 34, Raines 20.
Rocky Bayou Christian at Bishop Snyder (0-1): Snyder played well in a Week 1 loss at Hilliard. N4J pick: Snyder 21, Rocky Bayou 13.
St. Augustine at Middleburg: Super 10-ranked Yellow Jackets have had some growth areas the past two seasons but start out here with a win. N4J pick: St. Augustine 38, Middleburg 13.
University Christian at Clay: UC starts the season with realistic state championship expectations. N4J pick: UC 33, Clay 20.
Westside at Baldwin, 6 p.m.: Another game that has the potential to be a very good one. Indians won this one last year (24-7), although Wolverines went two rounds deep into the postseason. N4J pick: Westside 27, Baldwin 20.
White at Menendez: I like this game for both teams. The Falcons are coming off of their first-ever district title and the Commanders showed promise in spots last season. N4J pick: Menendez 27, White 20.
Wildwood (0-1) at St. Joseph: Flashes open up 2020 season at home with a W. N4J pick: Wildwood 21, St. Joseph 14.
Wolfson at Ridgeview: Turnaround season for Wolfpack in 2019 continues into the new year. N4J pick: Wolfson 21, Ridgeview 14.
Yulee (1-0) at West Nassau (1-0): Battle for the best in Nassau County goes to the Warriors. N4J pick: West Nassau 37, Yulee 21.
Zarephath Academy (0-1) at Hawthorne (1-0): Tough road game for Zarephath. N4J pick: Hawthorne 38, Zarephath 8.
Home team in CAPS
Crescent City over THE VILLAGES; Suwannee over HAMILTON COUNTY, 7:30 p.m. OCALA ST. JOHN LUTHERAN over Cedar Creek Christian (0-1)
OFF: Columbia, Flagler Palm Coast, Fort White, Joshua Christian, Lee, Matanzas, Raines, Sandalwood.