High school football ‘21: Regular season draws to a close as playoffs loom

Bartram running back Eric Weatherly outruns the tackle of a Nease defender during an Oct. 16 game. (By Ralph D. Priddy) (Ralph D Priddy, News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s the final week of the high school football regular season and quite a few playoff berths are still up for grabs. A glance at the top four games, the next four and the full schedule for our area teams. All games are Friday at 7 p.m. indicated.


Fletcher (5-4) at Mandarin (4-5), Thursday, 6:30 p.m.: Rivalry game to end the regular season. The Mustangs can get back to .500 and know that they have a bright future with QB Tramell Jones taking snaps. The Senators have to get back on track after seeing Ponte Vedra wallop them 28-7 last week. They’ll go into the playoffs as the No. 4 seed in Region 1-7A but don’t want to go in with back-to-back losses. Fletcher RB Jabarri Williams has reached 100 rushing yards in three of his last four games. Mandarin RBs TJ Lane (593 yards, 6 TDs) and Terrance Johnson (519 yards, 2 TDs) lead the way on the ground for the Mustangs.

Gainesville Buchholz (8-1) at (1) Bartram Trail (8-1): The best matchup of Week 11. The Bobcats knocked off area No. 1 Bolles two weeks ago in a defensive battle. Buchholz has given up no more than 10 points in a game this season. Its lone loss came to defending Class 4A state champ Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons. Can Bartram move the ball against a defense like that? The Bears’ two best offensive performances of the season have come in back-to-back weeks, a 49-33 win over Oakleaf and a 50-35 win over Sandalwood. QB Riley Trujillo (910 passing yards, 9 TDs, INT) has found some confidence as his experience has grown, but these Bears have leaned more heavily on defense and special teams the bulk of the season.

White (6-2) at (2) Riverside (8-1), 6:30 p.m.: A battle of the Westside. The Generals are rolling and positioned as a No. 5 seed in Region 1-6A. The Commanders are coming off a 30-27 win at the wire over Parker. Generals QB Daniel Plummer (1,140 passing yards, 12 TDs, 6 INT) and RB Alvin Gibson (842 rushing yards, 13 TDs) pace the Riverside offense. But defense is what Riverside does best. Its attention will be focused on RB Christian Ellis (1,240 rushing yards, 10 TDs), an all-purpose machine who is averaging 168 yards a game.

University Christian (6-3) at Atlantic Coast (5-4), 6:30 p.m.: A big game for both teams. UC is currently No. 1 in RPI in Region 1-2A, a spot that could translate into a hosting a potential regional final against Trinity Christian. The Stingrays are seventh in Region 1-7A in RPI standings and can’t afford a loss to fall to eighth (or out). A drop one spot would likely give them a playoff opener at Gainesville Buchholz. UC’s defensive strategy is not allowing RB Arthur Walker (1,064 rushing yards, 13 TDs) to find any room to run. He’s the focal point of the Atlantic Coast attack. UC RB Alan Woods is coming off a season-best 161-yard rushing performance last week against Episcopal.


Baker County (7-2) at Baldwin (6-2), 6:30 p.m.: A solid season-ending collision between a pair of teams bound for the playoffs. The Indians have won three straight by blowout fashion. Baldwin will try and solve a larcenous defense led by DB Jamil Jones (8 interceptions).

Bishop Kenny (6-2) at Episcopal (6-3): Both teams are positioned for the state playoffs — for now. The Crusaders are seventh in RPI in Region 1-5A, .33 in front of No. 8 Parker and .46 in front of Clay. The Eagles are fifth in RPI in 1-3A, sitting at .573 and just in front of Crescent City (.572). The No. 7 spot is held by Pensacola Catholic (.558). An Episcopal loss and a Catholic win could see those teams trade positions.

Oakleaf (4-5) at Fleming Island (5-4), 7:30 p.m.: The Golden Eagles are probably too far out of position (10th in RPI at .515) to overtake either idle Crestview at ninth (.522) or No. 8 Navarre (.530), but they’ve got incentive in this season-ending rivalry game against the Knights.

Paxon (1-8) at Stanton (0-9), 6:30 p.m.: The annual Brain Bowl is always a good one. The Blue Devils are in a rut. They’ve lost 18 consecutive games dating back to the 2019 season. Stanton’s last victory? That came on Oct. 11, 2019, in a 35-24 win over Paxon.

Florida Week 11 schedule

Thursday, Nov. 4

First Coast (0-9) at Sandalwood (3-6), 6:30 p.m.

Flagler Palm Coast (4-4) at Matanzas (3-6), 7:30

Fletcher (5-4) at Mandarin (4-5), 6:30 p.m.

Trinity Christian (6-3) at Tallahassee Lincoln (7-2)

Westside (2-7) at Nease (6-3)

Friday, Nov. 5

Baker County (7-2) at Baldwin (6-2), 6:30 p.m.

Bishop Kenny (6-2) at Episcopal (6-3)

Clay (6-3) at Orange Park (3-6)

Daytona Beach Mainland (5-4) at Bolles (6-2), canceled

Englewood (4-5) at Wolfson (2-7), 6:30 p.m.

Fort White (5-3) at Bradford (4-5), 7:30 p.m.

Gainesville Buchholz (8-1) at Bartram Trail (8-1)

Jackson (6-3) at Ribault (1-8), 6:30 p.m.

Keystone Heights (9-0) at Gainesville P.K. Yonge (5-3)

Menendez (4-5) at Tocoi Creek (3-4), canceled

The First Academy (6-2) at NFEI (4-5)

Oakleaf (4-5) at Fleming Island (5-4), 7:30 p.m.

Palatka (1-7) at St. Augustine (5-3)

Paxon (1-8) at Stanton (0-9), 6:30 p.m.

Ponte Vedra (4-5) at Creekside (7-2)

Providence (3-6) at Bell (3-6), canceled

Raines (7-2) at Vero Beach (6-2), canceled

Suwannee (4-6) at Tallahassee Florida High (7-1), 7:30 p.m.

Union County (9-0) at Cocoa Beach (1-8)

University Christian (6-3) at Atlantic Coast (5-4), 6:30 p.m.

West Nassau (3-4) at Ridgeview (1-8)

White (6-2) Riverside (8-1), 6:30 p.m.

Yulee (3-6) at Middleburg (5-4)

Zarephath Academy (1-6) at Munroe (7-2), canceled

Sunshine State Athletic Conference playoffs

Cedar Creek Christian (1-8) at Harvest (3-5)

Hilliard (8-1) at Holmes County (5-4)

Santa Fe Catholic (6-2) at Eagle’s View (7-2)

Off, seasons complete: Columbia (6-4), Crescent City (7-3), Fernandina Beach (3-7), Interlachen (3-6), Parker (6-4), Raines (7-2), St. Joseph (2-6), Young Kids in Motion (3-6), Zarephath Academy (1-6).

Week 12 Georgia schedule

Friday, Nov. 5, all games 7:30 p.m.; region games indicated by an *

Appling County (9-0, 3-0) at Pierce County (7-2, 3-0)*

Atkinson County (3-6, 1-4) at Charlton County (6-3, 2-3)*

Brunswick (9-0, 5-0) at Effingham County (6-2, 4-1)*

Statesboro (5-4, 3-1) at Glynn Academy (3-5-1, 2-3)*

Wayne County (0-8, 0-3) at Ware County (7-1, 3-0)*

Off: Camden County.

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.