64ºF

High school football 2020: Glance at playoff games in Classes 5A-8A

Creekside receiver Jake Goodrich, center, makes a catch and run in the first quarter during a Week 10 game at Ponte Vedra. (Ralph D. Priddy)
Creekside receiver Jake Goodrich, center, makes a catch and run in the first quarter during a Week 10 game at Ponte Vedra. (Ralph D. Priddy) (News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The full slate of high school football playoffs have arrived, with games Friday this week.

News4Jax takes a look at playoff matchups in Classes 5A-8A. All games are Friday at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated. If teams have already been in a playoff game, their playoff path is shown. Here’s a glance at Class 1A-4A games.

Region 1-8A, Play-in game, Round 1

Mandarin (3-5) at Sandalwood (6-2), Monday, 6 p.m.

Winner gets: Mandarin or Sandalwood would travel to face Flagler Palm Coast on Nov. 20.

Glance: A clash between two of the area’s biggest schools and current district rivals for the right to keep the season going. The Mustangs have been a bit erratic this season on the offensive side of the ball, but they’ve been solid on defense. LB Carmello Murphy (99 tackles) leads the team in tackles. LB Nic Mitchell (89 tackles, 14 TFL, 7.5 sacks) is all over the field and the Mustangs top defensive player. CB Uriel Richardson has five of Mandarin’s nine interceptions. QB Tre Lawrence has 13 TD passes and 1,291 yards through the air. RBs Chris Freeman and Terrance Johnson have combined for 706 yards on the ground. The Mustangs don’t score a lot (average 2.3 offensive TDs a game) but they tend to keep teams within reach defensively. Mandarin locked the Saints down this season (29-14 in Week 6) but can it do that again? Saints QB Chris Calhoun has passed for 943 yards and rushed for 643 more (14 total TDs). WR Nick Brown has team-bests in yardage (430) and TD grabs (6). ATH Jadon Canady has had a wicked good season, picking off seven passes and serving as the most effective pass-catcher in town (9 receptions, 5 TDs). Defense is the strength of the Saints, with LB Branden Jennings (72 tackles, 9 sacks) and DE Sayvion Blount (35 tackles, 11 sacks) leading the way.

UPDATE: Nease (1-7) at Oakleaf (6-3) canceled due to COVID-19 concerns. Oakleaf wins by forfeit

Winner gets: Bartram Trail would host either Oakleaf or Nease in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Knights have three losses, two to Georgia schools Camden County and Lowndes, and the other in agonizing fashion to Bartram Trail. They’ve already beaten Nease once this season, 35-14, although that game was closer than the score indicated. RB Adrian Grey gashed Nease in that one for 232 yards and 3 TDs on just 9 — yes, 9 — carries. Grey is averaging 8.1 yards per carry this season and is over 1,000 yards. WRs Terrance Anthony (855 yards, 10 TDs) and Cobie Bates (603 yards, 7 TDs) are the biggest targets for QB Walter Simmons III (1,675 passing yards, 19 TDs). The Panthers haven’t been able to find their groove this season. They’ve only surpassed 20 points in a game twice this season and are allowing opponents to score 35.5 per game. RB Taliek Golphin (440 rushing yards, 2 TDs), QB Will Carn (657 passing yards, 5 TDs) and WR Grant Stevens (502 receiving yards, 5 TDs) have been the Panthers' best weapons.

Byes: Bartram Trail, Flagler Palm Coast.

Region 1-7A, Play-in game, Round 1

Creekside (5-3) at Gainesville Buchholz (6-1)

Winner gets: Creekside would travel to face Navarre in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: An interesting rematch of a game that was played two weeks ago and dominated by the Bobcats. Creekside’s previous two losses (to Fleming Island and Bartram Trail) were close games. The Knights were walloped and out of things by halftime against Buchholz. Will things change this time? RB Preston Strope (1,216 rushing yards, 20 TDs) and WR Jack Goodrich (575 receiving yards, 6 TDs) are playmakers. LB Tucker Owens has 100 tackles) and kicker Andrew Daragjeti is statistically the best in the area (9 of 10 on FGs). This has already been a step-forward kind of season for the Knights. What would top it off is a trip to the second round of the playoffs for just the second time in program history.

First Coast (3-3) at Tallahassee Lincoln (5-1)

Winner gets: First Coast would travel to face either Atlantic Coast or First Coast in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Buccaneers have been off since a loss to Fletcher on Nov. 2. ATH Jacob Corley has proven himself as a playmaker out of the backfield and First Coast has weapons outside of that. QB Larry Edwards and WR Jabari Mack have big play potential offensively, and Mack gets it done on the defensive side of the ball, too. DE Phillip Lee is a force on the defensive line. This is the first trip to the playoffs for the Buccaneers since reaching the regional final in 2014.

Fletcher (6-1) at Atlantic Coast (3-5), 7 p.m.

Winner gets: Fletcher or Atlantic Coast would host Tallahassee Lincoln or First Coast in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: Fletcher’s game plan is simple — give it to RB Myles Montgomery and get out of the way. Despite the loss of two games due to COVID-19 this season, the Senators have rolled with a familiar theme. Montgomery is third in the area in rushing yardage (1,246, 16 TDs) and looked fresh last week in playing games on both Monday and Friday. Ball control offense and punish teams defensively is what Fletcher has done in its first season under coach Bobby Raulerson. The Senators are holding teams to 147.4 yards per game and letting players like LBs Aaron Hester and Josh Davis (combined 14.5 sacks) chase down opposing QBs. They have already beaten the Stingrays this season (24-14 in Week 4). Atlantic Coast is making its playoff debut. The Stingrays have struggled to find offense consistently, despite having arguably the area’s top receiver in Patrick Bryant II (556 yards, 4 TDs). RBs Arthur Walker (436 rushing yards, 6 TDs) and Kendall Mathis (370 rushing yards, TD) and QB Ridge Jacobs (847 passing yards, 241 rushing yards, 8 total TDs) can move the ball, but can they do it enough to solve the Senators?

Tate (1-5) at Fleming Island (6-2)

Winner gets: Fleming Island would travel to Tallahassee Chiles in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Golden Eagles should be positioned well to advance. Coach Damenyum Springs has won at least a game in each of his two trips to the postseason and this year’s squad is a consistent and steady bunch. The offense-by-committee approach has been thinned out to become more of a Timothy Thomas (912 rushing yards, 8 TDs) and Sam Singleton (622 rushing yards, 5 TDs) show, with TK Kocak a wildcard in the backfield or under center. LB Alex Maier (80 tackles) is tops on the Golden Eagles in tackles.

Region 1-6A, Play-in game, Round 2

Fort Walton Beach (2-4) at Lee (5-1), 7 p.m.

Winner gets: Lee would travel to face either Pensacola Pace or Pensacola Booker T. Washington in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Generals didn’t play as many games as most area teams did this season, but they were near-perfect in the ones that they did. The lone blemish is a 14-6 loss to Super 10 No. 1 Trinity Christian. Defensively, Lee has been very good. The Generals are holding teams to 14 ppg and have enjoyed a solid year, despite losing a slew of talented players to graduation and transfer. QB Cale Zarah (675 passing yards, 12 TDs), and RBs Dayon Rawls (292 rushing yards, 6 TDs) and Alvin Gibson (257 rushing yards, TD) have been the three big producers. It’s been a by-committee approach elsewhere. DL Jai Robinson (29 tackles, 7 sacks), and CBs Joe Morrison (4 INTs) and Jaheim Singletary (2 INTs) lead an always tough Lee defense.

Mosley (4-3) at St. Augustine (6-2)

Winner gets: St. Augustine would host either Middleburg or Pensacola Escambia in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Yellow Jackets have turned things around since a 1-2 start and moved back into the Super 10 this week. RB Ty Baxter is honing in on a 1,000-yard rushing season and QB Sammy Edwards has passed for 1,276 yards with his top targets Baxter, Trevon Dirden and Dequan Stanley. The Yellow Jackets are looking to end a two-year playoff slide. They’ve dropped their playoff opener each of the last two seasons after reaching the state semifinals in 2017.

New Smyrna Beach (3-4) at Matanzas (5-3)

Winner gets: Matanzas would host either Gainesville or Daytona Beach Mainland in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Pirates are in the playoffs for the third time and looking for both their first points and first victory. They have a pair of shutout losses on their postseason resume thus far. QB Ethan Dattilo (1,245 passing yards, 15 TDs) and WR Noah Cundiff (396 receiving yards, 6 TDs) are the two biggest offensive contributors. Matanzas enters this on a three-game winning streak.

Pensacola Escambia (7-0) at Middleburg (0-9), 6 p.m.

Winner gets: Middleburg would travel to face either St. Augustine or Lynn Haven Mosely in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: Not often under any playoff format will you see a winless team host an unbeaten. But it’s 2020 so this shouldn’t be too out of the ordinary. The Broncos finished with their third winless regular season since 2004 and will have a difficult time against the Gators. QB Luke Padgett is the Broncos best weapon, passing for 642 yards and leading the team in rushing (754, 9 TDs). S Stone Newsome (62 tackles), LB Wyatt Underwood (55 tackles) and S Jace Campbell (54 tackles) lead the Broncos in tackles. Escambia has forced 20 turnovers, something that the Broncos have struggled with this season (21 giveaways). One positive — Middleburg has posted its highest point totals of the season in four of its final five games.

Ponte Vedra (5-4) at Columbia (2-5)

Road here: Columbia d. Englewood, 41-7 in first play-in game.

Winner gets: Columbia or Ponte Vedra would host either Daytona Beach Seabreeze or Gulf Breeze in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: A bit of a role reversal down the stretch. The Tigers started 0-5, a miserable beginning for the perennially proud program, but have won their final two games. After Columbia cycled through quarterbacks during its skid, Marcus Peterson has emerged as the leader of the offense. He had four total TDs in a playoff rout of Englewood last week. The Sharks started out 4-0 but lost QB Jakobi Myers in an Oct. 9 game against Bartram Trail and are just 1-3 since without him. Ponte Vedra has gotten looks from multiple players under center since Myers' season-ending injury, but the most consistent offense now is with RB Campbell Parker, who eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark last week against Creekside.

Region 1-5A, Play-in game, Round 2

Arnold (2-4) at Baker County (7-2), canceled due to COVID-19, Baker County wins by forfeit

Ribault (1-6) at Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee (0-7)

Winner gets: Ribault would host either Tallahassee Godby or Paxon in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: No doubt one of the worst recordwise matchup in the area this week due to the combined 1-13 record of both teams. Ribault’s defense gives it a shot to play on. The Trojans have labored offensively more than on the defensive side of the ball this season but they’ve been competitive in just about every game. QB Santana Jackson (896 passing yards, 191 rushing yards, 9 total TDs) and WR Freddie Manning III (370 yards, 3 TDs) are the offensive headliners. RB Martranius Mack is closing in on a 300-yard rushing season. LB/S Cory Cooper has a team-best 75 tackles. Ribault’s best shot to win this one and keep going is to keep this as low-scoring as possible and let its defense do the heavy lifting.

Raines (3-6) at Westside (5-3), 7 p.m.

Winner gets: Raines or Westside would host Baker County in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: A rematch of a second-round game last year, won handily (52-20) by the Vikings. Raines has played much better over the past month of the season than it did before. It enters on a two-game losing streak, albeit, those losses have come to the No. 1 team in the area (Trinity Christian) and the No. 2 team (Bartram Trail). The Vikings defense presents all kinds of problems for teams. Look at the six interceptions in the Northwest Classic as evidence of that. CB Kyree Hammond had three of those. And Raines gave Bartram fits last week. QB Carleton Butler Jr. is a threat with his legs. RB Kareem Burke and ATH Mikih McGhee give Butler options, too. The Wolverines have experimented with two QBs this year, allowing Jordan Campbell to get work much of the second half of the season and using DJ Otis in more of an athlete role. Otis (328 rushing yards, 4 TDs) is the team’s leading rusher. He’s also thrown for 880 yards and 5 TDs. Antown McCrae (400 receiving yards, 4 TDs) is becoming more and more of a weekly threat as a pass catcher. Dominique Alexander is tops on the team in tackles (75).

Suwannee (7-2) at Parker (2-5)

Winner gets: Parker or Suwannee would travel to face Wakulla or Pensacola Pine Forest in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: An excellent season for the Bulldogs, who have won four straight since a 59-42 shootout loss to Buchholz. Dual-threat QB Jaquez Moore (1,020 passing yards, 12 TDs, 884 rushing yards, 15 TDs) is one of the area’s top players and dictates the pace. He’s not far off from a 1,000-yard rushing season. WR Wesley Jones Jr. (388 yards, 7 TDs) is Moore’s top target. The Braves came back down to earth following a stellar 2019 campaign that produced a district championship. RB Kevonte Doles (360 rushing yards, 5 TDs), WR Daniel Shaw (462 yards, 5 TDs) and S Chris Victor (13 sacks) are the most explosive players for the Braves. Can they cool off a red-hot Suwannee for their first playoff win since 1996?

Tallahassee Godby (3-3) at Paxon (3-4), 7 p.m.

Winner gets: Paxon would travel to face Ribault or Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: How about the Golden Eagles? For the first time ever, Paxon is in the state playoffs. The reward is perennial playoff team Godby. Not that the opponent matters. Paxon is enjoying the moment of the postseason. S Nick Bell has had a strong season, including a pick-six in the Brain Bowl blowout of Stanton. QB Christion Russ and WR John Smith are also solid players for Paxon.

Tallahassee Rickards (4-1) at White (5-4), 7 p.m.

Road here: White d. Bishop Kenny, 34-31.

Winner gets: White would host either West Florida or Pensacola in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: After a sluggish start to the year, the Commanders turned things around in a hurry. White won three of its final four games, including last week’s play-in opener against Kenny. The main reason — RB Jaison Patterson. He turned in one of the highest single-game rushing totals ever last week with a 39-carry, 398-yard, 5-TD effort against the Crusaders. It was the highest total by a Gateway Conference player since Commanders RB Isaiah Flowers went for 412 yards against Middleburg in October 2018. A win this week would put White three rounds deep into the postseason since 2014.

Bye: Baker County.

Region 2-5A, Play-in game, Round 2

Citrus (1-6) at Orange Park (3-5)

Winner gets: Orange Park would host either Menendez or Mount Dora in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Raiders went in an 0-4 hole to start so they’ve made significant progress on the back side of the schedule. They’ve had two losses (35-32 to Menendez and 18-14 to Ridgeview) that were very winnable games. RB Jojo Restall has had an outstanding season for a sophomore (1,128 rushing yards, 10 TDs) and is on a four-game streak of rushing for 100 yards or more. LB Julius McCray and S Ericksen McConnell have 128 combined tackles for the Raiders. Region 2-5A is weak, so all area teams in here have a good chance at rolling through and setting up all-area showdowns next week. That could mean an OP-Menendez rematch.

Mount Dora (1-6) at Menendez (3-5)

Winner gets: Menendez would travel to face Inverness Citrus or Orange Park in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: The Falcons are in the state playoffs for the fourth consecutive season, a program-best streak. QB King Benford is the Falcons' biggest weapon, passing for 498 yards and a TD. But his biggest asset is running the football and he’s closing in on a 1,000-yard rushing season (846, 12 TDs). RB Duane Graham follows with 435 rushing yards (4 TDs). LB Ryon Pickles (71 tackles) and Julian Quintero (3 INTs) lead the Menendez defense. While they’ve been hot and cold this year, the Falcons have a very good shot to go three rounds deep in this region.

Leesburg (0-6) at Clay (7-1)

Winner gets: Clay would host Atlantic or Lake Weir in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: A turnaround season of Clay ended with a thud in the regular season finale against Oakleaf, but that doesn’t erase what has been a stellar run for the Blue Devils. Clay was 1-9 a year ago. QB Tre Griner (1,078 yards, 14 TDs passing, 626 rushing yards, 6 TDs) is an exceptional two-way player. RB Al’querious Ray is steaming towards a 2,000-yard rushing season (1,581, 20 TDs) and hasn’t been held to fewer than 125 yards rushing in a game this season. D’maurion Frazier (536 receiving yards, 6 TDs) is Griner’s favorite target. S Jonathan Rouw and S Tristan Keith have combined for 135 tackles. Rouw also leads the team with 3 picks. The Blue Devils should be able to name their score in this one.

Tavares (3-4) at Ridgeview (6-3)

Winner gets: Ridgeview would travel to face Ocala Vanguard or Crystal River in the regional quarterfinals on Nov. 20.

Glance: Much like Clay County rival Clay, the turnaround at Ridgeview this season has been a welcome sight. While the Panthers enter the postseason on a two-game losing streak, they were 1-9 in 2019. QB Max Monroe (1,308 passing yards, 10 TDs), RB Eddie Whipple (477 rushing yards, 12 TDs) and WR Spencer Calise (462 receiving yards, 4 TDs) have been the offensive drivers for Ridgeview. Whippe is closing on a 1,000-yard all-purpose season. DL Josh Dorsainvil (47 tackles) has a team-best 6 sacks. DL Derrick Mosley (78 tackles) and LB Joe Reed (77 tackles) head up the Ridgeview defense.

Football playoff schedule, Week 1

Nov. 5

Region 1-5A, Play-in game, Round 1

Westside 32, Yulee 7

Region 1-5A, Play-in game, Round 1

White 34, Bishop Kenny 31

Nov. 6

Region 1-6A, Play-in game, Round 1

Columbia 41, Englewood 7

Region 1-3A, Play-in game, Round 1

Episcopal 42, Wolfson 7

Region 1-2A, Play-in game, Round 1

University Christian 42, Quincy Munroe 0

Region 3-1A, Play-in game, Round 1

Fort White 14, Hamilton County 6

Region 4-1A, Play-in game, Round 1

Bronson 33, Crescent City 8

Week 2 playoffs

Friday, Nov. 13, all games 7:30 p.m. unless indicated

Region 1-8A, Play-in game, Round 1

Oakleaf (6-3) d. Nease (1-7) by forfeit, game canceled due to safety concerns

Mandarin (3-5) at Sandalwood (6-2), 7 p.m., postponed to Monday at 6 p.m.

Byes: Bartram Trail, Flagler Palm Coast, Oakleaf.

Region 1-7A, Play-in game, Round 1

Creekside (5-3) at Gainesville Buchholz (6-1)

First Coast (3-3) at Tallahassee Lincoln (5-1)

Fletcher (6-1) at Atlantic Coast (3-5), 7 p.m.

Tate (1-5) at Fleming Island (6-2)

Region 1-6A, Play-in game, Round 2

Fort Walton Beach (2-4) at Lee (5-1), 7 p.m.

Mosley (4-3) at St. Augustine (6-2)

New Smyrna Beach (3-4) at Matanzas (5-3)

Pensacola Escambia (7-0) at Middleburg (0-9), 6 p.m.

Ponte Vedra (5-4) at Columbia (2-5)

Region 1-5A, Play-in game, Round 2

Arnold (2-4) at Baker County (7-2), canceled due to COVID-19, Baker County wins by forfeit

Raines (3-6) at Westside (5-3), 7 p.m.

Ribault (1-6) at Fort Walton Beach Choctawhatchee (0-7)

Suwannee (7-2) at Parker (2-5)

Tallahassee Godby (3-3) at Paxon (3-4), 6 p.m.

Tallahassee Rickards (4-1) at White (5-4), 7 p.m.

Bye: Baker County.

Region 2-5A, Play-in game, Round 2

Citrus (1-6) at Orange Park (3-5)

Mount Dora (1-6) at Menendez (3-5)

Leesburg (0-6) at Clay (7-1)

Tavares (3-4) at Ridgeview (6-3)

Region 2-4A, Regional quarterfinals

Keystone Heights (6-2) at Bradford (4-5)

Bolles (6-2) at Villages Charter (6-0)

South Sumter (3-4) at Palatka (1-9)

West Nassau (4-6) at Fernandina Beach (6-3)

Region 1-3A, Regional quarterfinals

Episcopal (5-2) at Interlachen (5-4)

Florida State University High (7-0) at Jackson (4-4)

Trinity Christian (7-1) at Baldwin (8-0), 7 p.m.

Region 1-2A, Regional quarterfinals

Aucilla Christian (6-2) at University Christian (4-4)

Rocky Bayou Christian (3-5) at North Florida Educational (1-6)

Victory Christian (5-4) at St. Joseph (1-7)

Region 3-1A, Regional quarterfinals

Fort White (1-6) at Branford (6-1)

Bell (2-6) at Union County (6-3)

Lafayette (5-4) at Hilliard (7-0)

Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs

Class A

Bishop Snyder (4-5) at Eagle’s View (7-2)

Cedar Creek Christian (4-5) at Out of Door Academy (1-4)


About the Author: