Week 5 high school football picks: Bounce back week for several area teams

Nease wide receiver Dom Henry (1) outruns Yulee linebacker Benjamin Thompson (7) and scores a first quarter touchdown during a Sept. 25 game. (Ralph D Priddy, News4Jax)

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. Several teams had games canceled this week due to COVID-19 concerns and were still in search of games. They will be added to the picks if those teams are able to find them.

Last week: 21-10. Season: 78-27 (.770).


Thursday, Oct. 1

Clay (2-0) at Gainesville Eastside (0-3): Blue Devils return from COVID-19 delay to stay perfect. N4J pick: Clay 30, Eastside 14.

Friday, Oct. 2

Baker County (3-0) at Westside (2-1), 6 p.m.: Wolverines have won two in a row, but Wildcats are suffocating teams on defense. N4J pick: Baker County 28, Westside 16.

Bishop Kenny (1-2) at White (1-2), 6 p.m.: How about the Crusaders last week against West Nassau? N4J pick: Kenny 32, White 21.

Bishop Snyder (1-3) at Christ’s Church (3-0): Can’t pick against CCA at home. N4J pick: Christ’s Church 35, Snyder 7.

Bradford (1-3) at Madison County (3-1), 7:30 p.m.: I’d probably take Madison County at home over a small college team. N4J pick: Madison County 38, Bradford 14.

Camden County (3-1) at Oakleaf (2-1): I love these Georgia-Florida matchups. N4J pick: Oakleaf 30, Camden 21.

Clearwater Academy (0-2) at Sandalwood (2-0), 6 p.m.: Saints keep unbeaten start rolling. N4J pick: Sandalwood 35, Clearwater Academy 12.

Creekside (2-1) at Fleming Island (3-0), 7:30 p.m.: Contender for game of the week. Knights have lost six of seven in this series. Can they reverse that trend? N4J pick: Creekside 28, Fleming Island 27.

Fernandina Beach (3-1) at Jackson (2-1), 6 p.m.: I like this matchup between programs on the rise. Pirates have their best team in years. N4J pick: Jackson 26, Fernandina Beach 24.

First Coast (0-1) at West Nassau (1-2): Warriors have lost back-to-back games. Can they end the slide this week? N4J pick: West Nassau 27, First Coast 20.

Fletcher (2-1) at Atlantic Coast (1-1), 6 p.m.: Sneaky good matchup after a major comeback win for the Stingrays last week. Senators also riding high this year. N4J pick: Fletcher 28, Atlantic Coast 21.

Florida High (2-0) at Columbia (0-1): Tigers get a replacement opponent in the Seminoles after Gainesville game was scratched due to coronavirus. Very tough test here. N4J pick: Columbia 21, Florida High 20.

Gainesville Buchholz (1-1) at Suwannee (3-1), 7:30 p.m.: Tough game for the Bulldogs, but they’ll win at home. N4J pick: Suwannee 30, Buchholz 27.

Hilliard (4-0) at Wolfson (0-3), 6 p.m.: Red Flashes continue to roll. N4J pick: Hilliard 34, Wolfson 13.

Lee (2-0) at Middleburg (0-3): Generals keep rolling along. N4J pick: Lee 35, Middleburg 0.

Matanzas (1-1) at Ponte Vedra (3-0): The Super 10 Sharks have been chewing up opponents all season. N4J pick: Ponte Vedra 35, Matanzas 14.

NFEI (0-3) at Trinity Christian (1-1): Conquerors muscled up in the fourth quarter last week to beat Columbia. N4J pick: Trinity 38, NFEI 6.

Orange City University (0-2) at Flagler Palm Coast (1-1): Bulldogs bounce back after getting blanked a week ago. N4J pick: FPC 31, University 17.

Palatka (0-4) at Bolles (2-1), 7:30 p.m.: Bulldogs were stunned in OT last week. This won’t be close. N4J pick: Bolles 44, Palatka 0.

Parker (1-2) at Raines (1-2), 6 p.m.: Tough game for Braves stepping up in competition level. N4J pick: Raines 33, Parker 21.

Plantation American Heritage (2-0) at Bartram Trail (3-0): Can the Bears slow the Patriots down enough in this game? N4J pick: American Heritage 35, Bartram Trail 31.

Providence (1-2) at Father Lopez (1-1): Stallions have played well, despite the two losses. Facing 3A Lopez is another tough game. N4J pick: Father Lopez 28, Providence 20.

Ridgeview (2-1) at Orange Park (0-3): Panthers bounced back after tough loss to Fleming Island last week. N4J pick: Ridgeview 30, Orange Park 7.

Union County (2-1) at Hamilton County (1-2), 7:30 p.m.: Tigers win big here. N4J pick: Union County 33, Hamilton County 14.

University Christian (1-2) at Baldwin (3-0), 6 p.m.: Quality matchup and somewhat of a tossup game. N4J pick: UC 28, Baldwin 26.

Yulee (2-2) at Ribault (0-2), 6 p.m.: Trojans have been close two weeks in a row. They close things out this week. N4J pick: Ribault 27, Yulee 25.

Others (home team in CAPS, area teams in bold)

Cedar Creek Christian (2-2) over ST. EDWARD’S (0-0); Taylor County (1-2) over FORT WHITE (0-2), 7:30 p.m.; Interlachen (2-2) over BELL (1-2); ZEPHYRHILLS CHRISTIAN (3-1) over Zarephath Academy (1-2)

Off: Eagle’s View, Englewood, Joshua Christian, Keystone Heights, Menendez, Paxon, St. Augustine, St. Joseph, Stanton.

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.