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High school football ‘21: No shortage of big games in Week 10 on Friday night

St. Augustine QB Trevon Dirden (2) evades Menendez linebacker Jayden Williams and picks up yards in the second quarter during a game this season. (Ralph D. Priddy, News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There’s two nights of high school football in Week 10. A glance at the top four games and the next four for Friday night. All games Friday night at 7 p.m. unless indicated. District games indicated by an *. For a glance at Thursday’s games, see here.

TOP FOUR ON FRIDAY

Clay (6-2, 3-0) at North Marion (5-3, 3-0)*: A game that will determine the District 4-6A champion and the No. 4 seed in Region 1-5A. It could get dicey for the loser here. The Blue Devils currently hold the No. 8 spot in the region but would vault to No. 4 by winning a district title. North Marion is ninth at .540. Only the top eight teams in the region qualify for the playoffs. QB Billy Mobley (1,314 passing yards, 13 TDs) and WR D’maurion Frazier (745 receiving yards, 7 TDs) have shaken up Clay’s traditional run-first offense and turned it into one that can stretch the field vertically. Frazier is also tied for the team lead in interceptions with Jarvis Lee (three apiece). DE Blake Thompson has a team-high six sacks for Clay.

Gainesville (6-2, 3-0) at St. Augustine (5-2, 3-0)*: Simple math here. The winner gets the District 4-6A championship and one of the top four seeds (likely No. 3) in Region 1-6A for the playoffs. The loser isn’t out of the playoff race, but the RPI margin gets razor-thin, with both Choctawhatchee and Rickards back in play. Those teams are ninth and 10th, respectively, in the region, and just a .10 and .13 difference between those two and St. Augustine’s RPI. QB Trevon Dirden and RB Devonte Lyons power a St. Augustine offense that has had shots at Bartram Trail, Bolles and Nease this season.

Jackson (5-3) at West Nassau (3-3): A big game for several reasons. The Warriors have turned things around in a hurry after an 0-3 start, with RB Conner Nobles (561 rushing yards, 8 TDs) powering West Nassau game after game. Nobles and the versatile AJ Miller (391 rushing yards, 4 TDs, 34 tackles, 3 INTs) have helped West Nassau get right back in the playoff race. DB Brooks Miller (42 tackles), Nobles at LB (41 tackles) and DE Michael Thorn (40 tackles, 3 sacks) power West Nassau’s defense. For Jackson, it’s a statement game to show that the Tigers are back as a program after years of struggles. Jackson’s last season over .500 was under Kevin Sullivan in 2009. Since that span, the Tigers became a magnet school, had three winless seasons, a pair of one-win seasons and cycled through coach after coach. But it’s been different under Foy. A win here would get them over that hump and bolster their playoff cause. Jackson is fourth in RPI in Region 1-4A and likely won’t drop lower than fifth. QB Jalen Sonnier (1,108 passing yards, 10 TDs), and RBs Fred Gaines (642 rushing yards, 4 TDs) and J’nethen Jackson (468 rushing yards, 3 TDs) make the offense go. LB Grayson Howard (98 tackles, INT, 3.5 sacks) and DE Richard Garrett (86 tackles, 9.5 sacks) give this defense its bite. West Nassau is sixth in RPI in the region and needs to finish strong to secure its playoff spot. Only the top six teams in the region earn a playoff trip.

Nease (5-3, 3-1) at Fleming Island (5-3, 3-1), 7:30 p.m.*: A major battle for what could determine a playoff spot in Region 1-7A. Right now, Atlantic Coast (.541), Nease (.539) and Fleming (.538) are in spots 7-9 in the region and separated by virtually nothing in the RPI race. Two of those teams should reach the playoffs, leaving one of those out. Who will it be? Likely the loser here. The Golden Eagles have won four straight and have been a perennial playoff contender under coach Damenyum Springs. Fleming’s defense will try and rein in QB Marcus Stokes (1,592 passing yards, 14 TDs) and WR Dom Henry (899 receiving yards, 7 TDs). Nease LB Ben Bogle is relentless on the field (119 tackles, 9 sacks, 2 INTs) and one of the best defenders in the area. Fleming RB Sam Singleton is poised to break the 1,000-yard rushing barrier this season (927 yards, 9 TDs), but Fleming is rooted in solid defense. LBs Abram Wright (51 tackles, 7 sacks), Walker Whiddon (48 tackles) and Jhace Edwards (36 tackles, 6.5 sacks) are tough.

NEXT FOUR

Blountstown (6-1) at Hilliard (8-0): The Sunshine State playoffs begin for the Red Flashes and this is a tough, tough opener. RB DJ Costin (965 rushing yards, 10 TDs) and Hilliard have their hands full. Blountstown played for the Class 1A state title just two years ago.

Fletcher (5-3, 4-0) at Ponte Vedra (3-5, 1-3)*: The Senators have won five straight and clinched the District 3-7A title last week. The Sharks still have a shot at a .500 season.

Oakleaf (4-4, 1-2) at (10) Creekside (6-2, 2-2)*: Creekside is positioned to reach the playoffs, likely in the No. 6-7 seed range in Region 1-8A. But it can’t afford to cede RPI points and doesn’t want to lose its third consecutive game after a 6-0 start. Oakleaf is playing for pride but can still finish with six wins.

Sandalwood (3-5, 1-2) at (2) Bartram Trail (7-1, 3-0)*: The Saints demolished red-hot Mandarin last week and has been in every District 1-8A game. Bartram looks like a No. 2 seed in Region 1-8A, but needs to build on an impressive offensive showing from last week. Those games have been sparse this season for the Bears.

Florida Week 10

Thursday, Oct. 28

Atlantic Coast (4-4, 1-3) at First Coast (0-8, 0-4), 6:30 p.m.*

Bishop Kenny (5-2, 1-2) at Paxon (1-7, 0-3), 6:30 p.m.*

Columbia (6-3) at Raines (5-2), 6:30 p.m.

Episcopal (6-2) at University Christian (5-3), 7:30 p.m.

Gainesville P.K. Yonge (4-3) at Providence (3-5), 6:30 p.m.

Keystone Heights (8-0) at Stanton (0-8), 6:30 p.m.

Orange Park (2-6, 0-3) at Englewood (4-4, 1-2), 6:30 p.m.*

Parker (6-3, 2-1) at White (5-2, 3-1), 6:30 p.m.*

Riverside (7-1, 2-1) at Westside (2-6, 1-2), 6:30 p.m.*

Wolfson (2-6) at Baldwin (5-2), 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 29

Baker County (6-2, 3-0) at Suwannee (4-5, 1-2), 7:30 p.m.*

Clay (6-2, 3-0) at North Marion (5-3, 3-0)*

Fletcher (5-3, 4-0) at Ponte Vedra (3-5, 1-3)*

Fort White (4-3) at Interlachen (3-5)

Gainesville (6-2, 3-0) at St. Augustine (5-2, 3-0)*

Jackson (5-3) at West Nassau (3-3)

Jordan Christian Prep (4-3) at Crescent City (5-3)

Lighthouse Private Christian (3-4) at Young Kids in Motion (2-5)

Madison County (4-3) at Bradford (4-4), 7:30 p.m.

Melbourne Central Catholic (1-6) at Tocoi Creek (2-4)

Menendez (3-5, 1-2) at Palatka (1-6, 0-3)*

Middleburg (4-4, 1-2) at Ridgeview (1-7, 0-3)*

Nease (5-3, 3-1) at Fleming Island (5-3, 3-1), 7:30 p.m.*

Newberry (5-3) at Union County (8-0), 7:30 p.m.

North Florida Educational (4-4) at Fernandina Beach (2-7)

Oakleaf (4-4, 1-2) at Creekside (6-2, 2-2)*

Ocala Trinity Catholic (5-2) at Yulee (3-5)

Sandalwood (3-5, 1-2) at Bartram Trail (7-1, 3-0)*

Taylor Pierson (2-5) at St. Joseph (1-6)

Tru Prep Academy (4-2) at Bolles (6-1), 7:30 p.m.

Zarephath Academy (1-5) at Lakeland Victory Christian (2-6)

Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs

Bell Creek Academy (2-6) at Cedar Creek Christian (0-8)

Berean Christian (0-7) at Harvest (2-5)

Bishop Snyder (4-3) at St. Edward’s (5-2)

Blountstown (6-1) at Hilliard (8-0)

Canterbury (3-2) at Christ’s Church (5-3)

Seven Rivers Christian (6-2) at Eagle’s View (6-2)

Off: Flagler Palm Coast, Mandarin, Matanzas, Ribault, Trinity Christian.

Week 11 Georgia

Friday, Oct. 29

Bradwell Institute (0-7, 0-4) at Brunswick (8-0, 4-0)*

Charlton County (5-3, 1-3) at Lanier County (3-5, 1-3)*

Lowndes (7-2, 2-0) at Camden County (4-5, 0-1)*

Tattnall County (5-3, 0-2) at Pierce County (6-2, 2-0)*

Ware County (6-1, 2-0) at Veterans (2-6, 1-2)*

Off: Glynn Academy.


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.