Week 8 high school football picks: Several rivalry games at forefront this week

Bartram Trail running back AJ Jones III (3) takes it up the middle against Ponte Vedra October 9, 2020. Bartram won the game 33-17 (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.

Last week: 27-6. Season: 147-51 (.742).

Friday, Oct. 23

Baker County (5-1) at West Nassau (2-5): Wildcats get back on track as Warriors' slide continues. N4J pick: Baker County 35, West Nassau 20.

Bolles (5-1) at University Christian (2-3), 7:30 p.m.: Bulldogs have been a bit more consistent this season. N4J pick: Bolles 36, UC 21.

Branford (4-1) at Interlachen (4-2), 7:30 p.m.: Rams in a close one. N4J pick: Interlachen 23, Branford 20.

Clay (5-0) at Middleburg (0-6): Al’Querious Ray and Tre Griner have been unstoppable for the surging Blue Devils. N4J pick: Clay 48, Middleburg 7.

Columbia (0-4) at Wakulla (4-1), 7:30 p.m.: Tigers have struggled mightily against a challenging schedule. N4J pick: Columbia 23, Wakulla 21.

Englewood (1-4) at Stanton (0-4), 6 p.m.: Rams played Ponte Vedra tough for a half last week. N4J pick: Englewood 34, Stanton 14.

Fernandina Beach (5-2) at Hilliard (5-0): Excellent Nassau County battle. Pirates in a thriller. N4J pick: Fernandina Beach 28, Hilliard 21.

First Coast (2-2) at Atlantic Coast (2-3): Tossup game. Both teams have been a bit all over the place this year. N4J pick: Atlantic Coast 21, First Coast 20.

Fleming Island (5-1) at Gainesville Buchholz (3-1), 7:30 p.m.: Tough game for the Golden Eagles, but they squeeze out a win. N4J pick: Fleming Island 23, Buchholz 21.

Gainesville Eastside (0-5) at Orange Park (2-4): Surging Raiders are a dropped TD pass in the end zone away from being a .500 team right now. N4J pick: Orange Park 35, Eastside 13.

Gainesville PK Yonge (2-5) at Fort White (0-4), 7:30 p.m.: Indians get their first W of the season. N4J pick: Fort White 19, PK Yonge 17.

Leesburg First Academy (0-6) at Eagle’s View (4-2): Warriors keep things rolling. N4J pick: Eagle’s View 36, First Academy 12.

Menendez (2-3) at Ridgeview (5-1): Panthers' lone loss has been to a strong Fleming Island team. N4J pick: Ridgeview 27, Menendez 21.

Nease (1-4) at St. Augustine (3-2): Yellow Jackets shouldn’t get pressed too much in this one. N4J pick: St. Augustine 38, Nease 13.

Oakleaf (4-2) at Bartram Trail (5-1): Perhaps the area’s best game this week. N4J pick: Oakleaf 31, Bartram Trail 30.

Palatka (0-7) at Bradford (3-4), 7:30 p.m.: Tough season continues for the Panthers. N4J pick: Bradford 34, Palatka 6.

Paxon (2-3) at St. Joseph (1-4): Golden Eagles looked sharp last week in taking apart rival Stanton. N4J pick: Paxon 33, St. Joseph 14.

Pierson Taylor (3-2) at Keystone Heights (4-1), 7:30 p.m.: Indians keep on moving along. N4J pick: Keystone 31, Taylor 21.

Ponte Vedra (5-1) at Suwannee (5-2), 7:30 p.m.: Tough game on the road for the Sharks. N4J pick: Suwannee 28, Ponte Vedra 23.

Raines (2-3) at Yulee (2-4): Vikings were relentless on defense in the Northwest Classic. Don’t throw it near Kyree Hammond. N4J pick: Raines 34, Yulee 13.

Ribault (1-4) at White (3-3), 6 p.m.: Commanders notched a big win last week. Can Trojans slow Jaison Patterson down? N4J pick: White 28, Ribault 12.

Sandalwood (5-0) at Mandarin (1-4), 6 p.m.: Powerful Saints defense is poised to smother the Mustangs. N4J pick: Sandalwood 33, Mandarin 13.

Trinity Christian (4-1) at Lee (4-0), 6 p.m.: What a win on the road last week for Conquerors. N4J pick: Trinity 27, Lee 14.

Westside (3-2) at Valdosta (2-2), 8 p.m.: Wolverines travel to TitleTown for a nice paycheck game in one of the top areas for high school football in the country. N4J pick: Valdosta 45, Westside 0.

Saturday, Oct. 24

Wolfson (0-6) at Christ’s Church (4-0): Eagles have been off for nearly two weeks due to COVID-19. N4J pick: Christ’s Church 23, Wolfson 17.

Off: Baldwin, Bishop Kenny, Bishop Snyder, Creekside, Episcopal, Flagler Palm Coast, Fletcher, Jackson, NFEI, Parker, Zarephath Academy.

OTHERS (home team in CAPS; locals in bold)

Central Florida Christian (3-1) over CEDAR CREEK CHRISTIAN (2-4); HAWTHORNE (4-1) over Union County (4-2), 7:30 p.m.; Matanzas (2-3) over LYMAN (1-4); Mayo Lafayette (3-3) over JOSHUA CHRISTIAN (0-3); MOUNT DORA CHRISTIAN (3-3) over Crescent City (0-5), 7:30 p.m.

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