JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s the fourth official week of the high school football state playoffs and teams are headed into the homestretch. A glance at this Friday’s games for area teams in the Class 1A-4A playoffs. Classes 5A-8A games will be published Wednesday.
Region 2-4A final
Bolles (9-2) at South Sumter (5-4), 7:30 p.m.
Road here: Bolles d. Villages Charter, 44-14; d. Fernandina Beach, 35-7; South Sumter d. Palatka, 28-7; d. Bradford, 9-6.
Winner gets: Bolles would host the Marianna-Gadsden County winner in the state semifinals on Dec. 4.
Glance: The Bulldogs have had no issues in their opening two playoff games and are just a victory away from reaching their third state semifinal since 2016. RB Kade Frew eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark this season last week. He gouged Fernandina Beach for 211 yards and a pair of TDs on 14 carries. The Bulldogs are no doubt at their most explosive when Frew is carrying the ball and setting up the pass from QB Gunner Boree to WR Davis Ellis, who is nearing a 1,000-yard receiving season. LB Mack Marrone is coming off of one of the best games of his career (12 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 sacks) and surpassed the 100-tackle mark for the season in that game. Bolles is 7-3 all-time against South Sumter in the state playoffs and has won the last five meetings.
Region 1-3A final
Florida State University High (10-0) at Trinity Christian (9-1), 7:30 p.m.
Road here: Florida High d. Walton, 64-7; d. Jackson, 42-6; d. Pensacola Catholic, 34-27; Trinity d. Baldwin, 20-3; d. Episcopal, 35-0.
Winner gets: Trinity would travel to face the winner of Trinity Catholic-John Carroll Catholic in the state semifinals on Dec. 4.
Glance: It’s the matchup we’ve expected — and been waiting on — all season. Trinity has gone eight straight games without allowing an opponent to score more than seven points. That number includes a shutout at then-nationally ranked Plantation American Heritage and five other victories over teams who won at least one game in the playoffs. The passing game finally came to life last week for Trinity, with QB Jacory Jordan throwing for a season-best yardage (239) and completion percentage (65%). A healthy Marcus Burke at WR is huge for the Conquerors. Burke had his best game of the season last week against Episcopal (4 catches, 61 yards, TD) and changes the game when he’s in the lineup. RB Treyaun Webb has been limited as of late getting carries due to injury and that has allowed Trinity’s backfield to become more diverse. RBs Darnell Rogers and Christian Ellis have both played large roles in the postseason. But this game will no doubt come down to Trinity’s ability to put the brakes on a very good offense. Seminoles QB Tre Donaldson (1,437 passing yards, 14 TDs) has been picked off just once this season. Among Florida High’s 16 TD passes as a team, they have been spread out to nine different receivers. Donaldson also leads the team in rushing (507 yards, 5 TDs). Trinity’s LBs lead the defense, with Lucius Lattimore and Caden Morrell combining for 122 tackles and 9 sacks.
Region 1-2A final
University Christian (6-4) at Tallahassee North Florida Christian (6-2), 7:30 p.m.
Road here: UC d. Quincy Munroe, 42-0; d. Aucilla Christian, 41-16; d. St. John Paul II, 41-7; NFC d. Tallahassee Maclay, 46-19; d. North Florida Educational, 42-0.
Winner gets: UC would host the winner of Foundation Academy-Lakeland Victory Christian in the state semifinals on Dec. 4.
Glance: No surprise in this matchup. UC and NFC have been the de facto gatekeepers in 2A. UC holds a 9-7 all-time edge in the state playoffs against NFC. These teams met nine times in the 2010s and the winner went on to play for the state championship six times, winning five titles. UC has butchered 2A competition in the playoffs. The Christians are averaging 41.3 points in three playoff games while allowing 7.7. RB Orel Gray has 13 rushing TDs for UC, including six in the postseason. He and fellow RB Joseph Carter and QB Desirrio Riles make the Christians go. Defense is really where UC has shown its prowess in the playoffs. They’ve only given up one first-half TD in the postseason. The two other TDs allowed were garbage time scores in a running clock game.
Region 3-1A final
Madison County (9-2) at Union County (8-3), 7:30 p.m.
Road here: Madison d. Dixie County, 48-19; d. Hilliard, 48-7; Union County d. Bell, 42-0; d. Fort White, 47-0.
Winner gets: Union would travel to face the winner of Wildwood-Hawthorne in the state semifinals on Dec. 4.
Glance: The Tigers enter this one riding their best stretch of the season, four consecutive wins and playoff blowouts. Union hasn’t allowed a point in the postseason. Madison County is a different beast when it comes to the state playoffs. The Cowboys have taken Union apart in the playoffs three times before, with the closest game between these two a 44-point Madison win in 2017. The Cowboys are in search of their fourth consecutive state championship. Union is paced by RBs Cade Vaughn and Manny Covey, QB AJ Cortese and WR/DB Cortez Slocum. LB Trevor Holtzendorf is one of the few players in the area to eclipse the 100-tackle mark this season (112). Slocum has a team-best 5 picks.