High school football playoffs 2020: Local matches highlight Week 3 picks

St. Augustine receiver Dequan Stanley runs after a catch during a Nov. 13 playoff win over Mosley. (Ralph D. Priddy) (Ralph D. Priddy, News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school football season has entered the final stretch and so have our weekly predictions.

News4Jax sports editor Justin Barney reveals his weekly high school football picks each Thursday. All games are Friday at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated. Here are glances for this week’s games in Classes 5A-8A and 1A-4A.

Last week: 28-5. Season: 242-77 (.759)

Week 3 Playoff schedule

Friday, Nov. 20

All games 7:30 p.m. unless indicated

Region 1-8A

Oakleaf (7-3) at Bartram Trail (8-1): Game of the week in the area and one I’m conflicted on. Knights were stronger team for three quarters in the regular season meeting. Bears were the best in the fourth. Tossup. N4J pick: Bartram Trail 31, Oakleaf 30.

Flagler Palm Coast (4-3) at Sandalwood (7-2), 6 p.m.: Can the Saints turn around on a short week and knock off their former district rival? With that defense, I’m betting they can. N4J pick: Sandalwood 23, FPC 21.

Region 1-7A

Fleming Island (7-2) at Tallahassee Chiles (1-5): Golden Eagles defense isn’t going to break out here. N4J pick: Fleming Island 28, Chiles 7.

Tallahassee Lincoln (6-1) at Atlantic Coast (4-5), 7 p.m.: Was last week a fluke for the Stingrays or can we expect to see the same? N4J pick: Lincoln 33, Atlantic Coast 28.

Region 1-6A

Lee (6-1) at Pensacola Pace (4-3), 8:30 p.m.: Long road trip won’t trip up the Generals. N4J pick: Lee 28, Pace 20.

Pensacola Escambia (8-0) at St. Augustine (7-2): Unbeaten Gators make their second trip to the area in as many weeks. N4J pick: St. Augustine 33, Escambia 31.

Daytona Beach Seabreeze (4-4) at Columbia (3-5): Tigers keep on winning. N4J pick: Columbia 28, Seabreeze 21.

Daytona Beach Mainland (7-1) at Matanzas (6-3): First-ever playoff win for the Pirates last week, but Bucs are too much this time. N4J pick: Mainland 31, Matanzas 14.

Region 1-5A

Tallahassee Godby (4-3) at Ribault (2-6), 6 p.m.: Nice win on the road last week for the Trojans. It will be significantly more difficult this week to replicate that feat. N4J pick: Godby 35, Ribault 20.

Baker County (7-2) at Raines (4-6), 7 p.m.: The Vikings defense against the Wildcats offensive front. What a matchup. N4J pick: Baker County 34, Raines 23.

Suwannee (8-2) at Pensacola Pine Forest (3-4), 8:30 p.m.: Bulldogs really struggled last week against Parker. Can they get back on their scoring pace here? N4J pick: Suwannee 28, Pine Forest 17.

Region 2-5A

Menendez (4-5) at Orange Park (4-5): Nice local matchup and a rematch of a game won by Menendez this season. N4J pick: Orange Park 28, Menendez 27.

Ridgeview (7-3) at Ocala Vanguard (6-1): Great turnaround for the Panthers, but Vanguard is too much here. N4J pick: Vanguard 33, Ridgeview 20.

Atlantic (1-5) at Clay (8-1): Blue Devils rolling along and not going to be fazed here. N4J pick: Clay 42, Atlantic 7.

Region 2-4A

Bolles (7-2) at Fernandina Beach (7-3): What a season for the Pirates, but the Bulldogs are laser-locked on an appearance in the state title game. N4J pick: Bolles 38, Fernandina Beach 13.

Bradford (5-5) at South Sumter (4-4): Tornadoes need a perfect performance to come out ahead in this one. N4J pick: South Sumter 34, Bradford 27.

Region 1-3A

Trinity Christian (8-1) at Episcopal (6-2), 7 p.m.: Former district opponents meet with the season on the line. Trinity’s defense is the difference. N4J pick: Trinity 28, Episcopal 7.

Region 1-2A

University Christian (5-4) at St. John Paul II (5-3): I think this one will be closer than most 2A games UC plays in, but the result won’t change. UC rolls. N4J pick: UC 38, St. John Paul II 14.

North Florida Educational (2-6) at Tallahassee North Florida Christian (5-2), 7 p.m.: NFEI won big in its first-ever playoff appearance last week. Tough mountain to climb here, though. NFC is always a title contender. N4J pick: NFC 34, NFEI 13.

Region 3-1A

Union County (7-3) at Fort White (2-6): Indians were in a funk all season and have now won back-to-back playoff games. Can the ride continue? N4J pick: Union 28, Fort White 22.

Madison County (8-2) at Hilliard (8-0): Two excellent seasons in a row for Hilliard, but the Cowboys are headed to a state title game. N4J pick: Madison County 35, Hilliard 14.

Sunshine State Athletic Conference

Class A championship

Saturday, Nov. 21

Bishop Snyder (5-5) vs. Out-of-Door Academy (2-4): The Cardinals have been a surprise this season and cap it with an SSAC title. N4J pick: Snyder 28, Out-of-Door 20.


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.