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.