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High school state playoff field set: More than two dozen area teams headed to postseason

Playoffs in Florida and Georgia begin on Friday night

Bartram Trail running back Eric Weatherly picks up yards in the third quarter against Oakleaf during a playoff game on November 20, 2020. (Ralph D. Priddy) (Ralph D. Priddy, News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The high school state playoff field is set and includes the familiar names — and some big time rematches.

A total of 31 area teams from Florida and Georgia are in the state playoff field after the Florida High School Athletic Association and Georgia High School Association unveiled playoff brackets on Sunday.

The Florida side includes two headlining rematches on Friday night.

In Region 1-6A, No. 5 seed Riverside (9-1) will visit No. 4 Columbia (6-4) in a rematch of a Week 7 game, won 28-26 by the Tigers. Columbia scored 19 points in the fourth quarter to stun the Generals.

In Region 1-5A, Raines (7-2) earned a No. 2 seed and will host No. 7 Parker (7-3) in a rematch of a Week 6 game won 13-9 by the Vikings.

One big name missing from the field — St. Augustine.

The Yellow Jackets (6-3) finished 11th in Region 1-6A in RPI and will miss the state playoffs for the first time since 1998.

Jackson (7-3) is in the state playoffs on its own accord for the first time since 2010 (remember, every team qualified last year if it wanted to due to the pandemic). The No. 3 seed Tigers get a game against No. 6 Gadsden County in Region 1-4A. Ironically, the last time Jackson thought it had qualified for the playoffs in 2018 it tied Gadsden in the playoff measuring criteria and lost a coin flip to an 0-10 Gadsden team for a berth in the postseason. Gadsden got in over West Nassau by a razor-thin margin (.491 to .490).

Four area teams from District 3-7A qualified, including Fleming Island. The Golden Eagles beat Oakleaf in Week 11 and got some much-needed help to vault from bubble team to in. Atlantic Coast qualified for the playoffs for the first time of its own doing. The Stingrays earned a No. 6 seed. Nease, a one-win team a year ago, is in, along with district champion Fletcher.

White’s forfeit for using an ineligible player knocked it down — but not out — of the playoff field. The Commanders (5-4) were sitting in fifth place in Region 1-5A in RPI entering Week 11, but lost to Riverside and wound up having to forfeit to Parker for self-reporting an ineligible player. The Commanders still had enough of a buffer (.545) to get in ahead of No. 9 Clay (.528).

University Christian’s Week 11 loss to Atlantic Coast was big for the Christians. UC entered the final week first in Region 1-2A in RPI. It dropped to third, behind Trinity Christian and Quincy Munroe. That eliminated a playoff bye for UC. The top two seeds in Classes 1A-4A receive byes in the opening round of the playoffs.

Florida high school football playoff schedule

All games Friday at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated; higher seeded team hosts

Region 1-8A

1. Seminole (9-1) vs. 8. Winter Park (6-4)

4. Timber Creek (7-3) vs. 5. Lake Mary (9-1)

2. Bartram Trail (8-2) vs. 7. Lake Brantley (6-4)

3. Apopka (8-2) vs. 6. Creekside (8-2)

Region 1-7A

1. Gainesville Buchholz (9-1) vs. 8 Fleming Island (6-4), Thursday, 7 p.m.

4. Fletcher (5-5) vs. 5. Orange City University (6-2), 6:30 p.m.

2. Spruce Creek (8-1) vs. 7. Nease (7-3)

3. Niceville (9-1) vs. 6. Atlantic Coast (6-4)

Region 1-6A

1. Pine Forest (8-1) vs. 8. Rickards (6-4)

4. Columbia (6-4) vs. 5. Riverside (9-1)

2. Mosley (9-1) vs. 7. Gulf Breeze (7-3)

3. Gainesville (8-2) vs. 6. Lincoln (8-2)

Region 1-5A

1. Baker County (8-2) vs. 8. White (5-4)

4. North Marion (6-3) vs. 5. West Florida (8-1)

2. Raines (7-2) vs. 7. Parker (7-3), 6:30 p.m.

3. Wakulla (8-2) vs. 6. Bishop Kenny (7-2)

Region 1-4A

1. South Walton (9-1), bye

4. Baldwin (6-3) vs. 5. Marianna (5-5), 6:30 p.m.

2. Bolles (6-2), bye

3. Jackson (7-3) vs. 6. Gadsden County (2-6), 6:30 p.m.

Region 2-4A

1. Cocoa (8-1), bye

4. South Sumter (6-4) vs. 5. Hernando (6-4)

2. Villages Charter (10-0), bye

3. Keystone Heights (9-1) vs. Umatilla (6-4)

Region 1-3A

1. Ocala Trinity Catholic (6-2), bye

4. Gainesville PK Yonge (7-3) vs. Crescent City (7-3)

2. Walton (9-1), bye

3. Florida State University High (8-1) vs. 6. Episcopal (6-4)

Region 1-2A

1. Trinity Christian (6-4), bye

4. St. Johns Paul II (8-2) vs. 5. North Florida Christian (6-4)

2. Quincy Munroe (7-2)

3. University Christian (6-4) vs. 6. Rocky Bayou Christian (6-3)

Region 3-1A

1. Chiefland (9-1), bye

4. Lafayette (7-3) vs. 5. Fort White (5-4)

2. Hilliard (9-1), bye

3. Union County (10-0) vs. 6. Trenton (4-5)

Region 4-1A

1. Hawthorne, bye

4. Wildwood (5-4) vs. 5. Fort Meade (5-4)

2. Pahokee (7-1), bye

3. Bradford (5-5) vs. 6. Newberry (5-5)

Georgia high school football schedule

All games Friday at 7:30 p.m.; higher seeded team hosts

Class 7A

4. Camden County (4-6) at 1. North Cobb (9-1)

3. Meadowcreek (5-5) at 2. Roswell (8-2)

Class 6A

4. Tucker (2-8) at 1. Brunswick (10-0), Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

3. Pope (7-3) at 2. Dacula (6-4), Saturday, 1 p.m.

3. Shiloh (4-6) at 2. Allatoona (7-3), Saturday, 7 p.m.

4. Glynn Academy (4-5-1) at 1. Hughes (9-1), Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

Class 5A

4. Banneker (5-5) at 1. Ware County (8-1)

3. Decatur (8-2) at 2. Calhoun (8-2)

Class 3A

4. Windsor Forest (5-4) at 1. Pierce County (8-2)

3. Sandy Creek (9-1) at 2. Dawson County (6-4)

Class 1A Public

4. Charlton County (7-3) at 1. Wilcox County (7-3), Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

3. Social Circle (6-4) at 2. Trion (9-1), Saturday, 6:30 p.m.


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.