JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s Week 9 of the high school football season and the playoffs are getting closer. Here’s a look at five of the top games in town on Friday night and the full schedule of games. All games Friday at 7 p.m. unless indicated.
Five for Friday
Parker (2-4) at Westside (3-3), 6 p.m.: This game decided the district championship a year ago as both teams marched on to the state playoffs. Parker won that showdown in a thriller. No playoff berths are at stake this season, but this is still a big game. The Braves need to find some consistency. They’ve been a bit all over the place. are stout on defense, with CB Damani Dent (42 tackles, 2 INT, LB Matteo Davis (36 tackles, FR) and S Chris Victor (29 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 FR) among the top players on that side of the ball. RB Kevonte Doles (360 rushing yards, 4 TDs) and Dent are the top players on offense. The Braves have to slow down QB DJ Otis, who can tuck it and go (273 rushing yards, 3 TDs) and spread it out (854 passing yards, 5 TDs). DL Chadwick Martin is a machine on the line for the Wolverines (44 tackles, 12 TFL, 10 sacks). Their defensive front causes problems, with DE/LB Dominique Alexander (55 tackles, 8 TFL) and DL Jordan Hall (26 tackles, 9 TFL) constantly in the backfield.
Ponte Vedra (5-2) at St. Augustine (4-2): The Sharks hadn’t beaten the Yellow Jackets until 2018. They’ve won two straight since then (21-14 and 38-35), but Ponte Vedra has struggled since losing QB Jacobi Myers to a season-ending injury in a Week 7 game to Bartram Trail. Coach Jeff DiSandro resigned due to personal reasons the following week. The road doesn’t ease up after this, with a game against Creekside next week. RB Campbell Parker (812 rushing yards, 8 TDs) is closing in on a 1,000-yard rushing season for the Sharks. The Yellow Jackets have won three in a row since a loss to No. 1 Bartram Trail on Sept. 25. QB Sammy Edwards (998 passing yards, 9 TDs) and RB Ty Baxter (655 rushing yards, 11 TDs) have been at the epicenter of the St. Augustine offensive attack.
Sandalwood (5-1) at Bartram Trail (6-1): The Saints were riding high until a setback last week against Mandarin. That doesn’t diminish the body of work though. QB Chris Calhoun (1,411 total yards, 12 total TDs) has been a stellar dual-threat player. But defense is where Sandalwood’s strength is at. LB Branden Jennings (52 tackles, 6 sacks), CB Jadon Canady (6 INTs), LB Langston Hardy (32 tackles, 3 sacks) and DL players Sayvion Blount and Deante McCray (7 sacks apiece) headline a very strong defensive unit. Can they slow down the Bears? Among local teams, only Mandarin has managed to hold Bartram under 30 points. The Bears have weapons aplenty, from a pair of QBs (Santino Marucci, Brody Davis), to versatile all-purpose players (Eric Weatherly, AJ Jones III) to emerging pass catchers (TE Eli Sutherland). Bartram also has one of the top kickers in the country in David Kemp, who has field goals of 52 and 54 yards this season. S Micah Pollard is fourth in the area in sacks with 10.
Raines (3-3) at Trinity Christian (5-1), 7:30 p.m.: Expect a defensive war here. The Vikings have won back-to-back games and jumpstarted their defense with a punishing six-interception afternoon in the Northwest Classic. Raines hasn’t played bad defensively all season against area teams, giving up no more than 20 points in a game against teams from northeast Florida. QB Carleton Butler Jr. and RB Kareem Burke are the Raines offensive headliners. DB Kyree Hammond had a 3-INT game against Ribault. Raines collides with a Trinity team that is riding a nasty defensive streak as well. The Conquerors have been doing just enough offensively to win games. But with a defense like this one, they haven’t needed much. Trinity is punishing opponents, limiting teams to 171.3 yards per game. LB Lucius Lattimore (48 tackles), LB Caden Morrell (35 tackles), DB Jahron Williams (30 tackles) and DE Johnathan Goddard (29 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks) lead a relentless Trinity squad.
Ridgeview (6-1) at Clay (6-0): Talk about a season of redemption for both of these schools. These teams were 1-9 last year. Clay’s lone win came against Ridgeview in 2019. This season, the Blue Devils have demolished every team in their way, with their closest game a 21-point rout of University Christian in Week 2. QB Tre Griner is completing nearly 70% of his passes (903 yards, 13 TDs) and has rushed for 544 yards. RB Al’querious Ray has been nearly unstoppable (1,222 rushing yards, 15 TDs, 11.5 ypc), the leader of a ground game that is chewing up an average of 11.3 yards every touch. DE Valdez Seymour has a team-best six sacks and DB Jonathan Rouw leads in both tackles (55) and picks (3). Clay has just two turnovers this season. On the other side of the field, Ridgeview’s improvement has been equally as impressive. RB Eddie Whipple is the Panthers' most explosive player. He’s also the top target for QB Max Monroe (1,012 passing yards, 11 TDs). Whipple has six receiving TDs. On defense, LB Joe Reed (62 tackles) and DL Derrick Mosley (59 tackles) lead the way.
Week 9 schedule
Friday, Oct. 30
Baldwin (6-0) at Yulee (2-5)
Bishop Kenny (1-5) at Baker County (6-1)
Bishop Snyder (2-5) at Bronson (5-3)
Cedar Creek Christian (2-5) at Ocala Christian (1-6)
Crescent City (0-6) at University Christian (2-4)
Eagle’s View (5-2) at Providence (4-2)
Fernandina Beach (5-3) at NFEI (0-5)
Fleming Island (5-2) at Atlantic Coast (2-4), 6 p.m.
Gainesville (1-2) at Lee (4-1), 6 p.m.
Gainesville Buchholz (4-1) at Creekside (4-2)
Hilliard (6-0) at Halifax Academy (3-3)
Keystone Heights (5-1) at Interlachen, 7:30 p.m.
Madison County (7-1) at Flagler Palm Coast (2-3)
Matanzas (3-3) at Englewood (2-4), 6 p.m.
Nease (1-5) at Oakleaf (4-3)
Newberry (7-1) at Fort White (0-5), 7:30 p.m.
North Miami Beach (1-0) at Columbia (0-5), 7:30 p.m.
Orange Park (3-4) at Menendez (2-4)
Palatka (0-8) at Middleburg (0-7)
Parker (2-4) at Westside (3-3), 6 p.m.
Paxon (3-3) at Episcopal (3-2)
Ponte Vedra (5-2) at St. Augustine (4-2)
Raines (3-3) at Trinity Christian (5-1), 7:30 p.m.
Ridgeview (6-1) at Clay (6-0)
St. Joseph (1-5) at Christ’s Church (5-0)
Sandalwood (5-1) at Bartram Trail (6-1)
South Sumter (1-3) at Bradford (4-4), 7:30 p.m.
Union County (4-3) at Chiefland (1-5), 7:30 p.m.
West Nassau (2-6) at Jackson (4-2), 6 p.m.
White (4-3) at Mandarin (2-4), 6 p.m.
Wolfson at Pine Ridge, canceled due to COVID-19 concerns
Zarephath Academy (1-6) at Stanton (0-5), 6 p.m.
Monday, Nov. 2
Fletcher (4-1) at First Coast (3-2), 6 p.m.
Off: Bolles, Ribault, Suwannee.
Friday, Oct. 30
Brooks County (6-1) at Charlton County (3-3), 7:30 p.m.*
Brunswick (5-2) at Richmond Hill (6-1), 7:30 p.m.*
Camden County (4-3) at Colquitt County (4-0), 8 p.m.*
Effingham County (2-4) at Glynn Academy (4-3), 7:30*
Madison County (7-1) at Pierce County (5-1), canceled due to COVID-19 concerns
Ware County (6-0) at Warner Robins (4-2), 7:30 p.m.*
Off: Pierce County.