Week 2 high school football playoff picks: Nine area teams play on to 3rd round

Nease wide receiver Grant Stevens (88) makes a catch against Yulee linebacker Landon Hale (11) in the second quarter of a Sept. 25 game. (Ralph D Priddy, News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school football is now in the state playoffs and our weekly predictions will cover each of those. News4Jax sports editor Justin Barney reveals his weekly high school football picks every week. All games at 7:30 p.m. unless indicated. Records and region seeds shown.

Last week: 16-3. Season: 280-99 (.739).

Regional semifinals

Region 1-8A

3. Apopka (9-2) at 2. Bartram Trail (9-2): Tough matchup for the Bears against the perennially difficult Blue Darters. N4J pick: Apopka 35, Bartram Trail 20.

Region 1-7A

7. Nease (8-3) at 3. Niceville (10-1), 8 p.m.: Can the Panthers pull off another road trip with a surprising win? Why not? N4J pick: Nease 28, Niceville 26.

Region 1-6A

5. Riverside (10-1) at 1. Pine Forest (9-1), 7:30 p.m.: Another long road trip for an area team, but the Generals have such a good defense that it won’t matter. N4J pick: Riverside 31, Pine Forest 20.

Region 1-5A

5. West Florida (9-1) at 1. Baker County (9-2), 7 p.m.: Wildcats do their part to set up an all-local regional final next week: N4J pick: Baker County 28, West Florida 21.

3. Wakulla (9-2) at 2. Raines (8-2), 6:30 p.m.: Vikings continue to churn along. N4J pick: Raines 28, Wakulla 20.

Region 1-4A

4. Baldwin (7-3) at 1. South Walton (9-1), 8 p.m.: Long road trip for the Indians. N4J pick: South Walton 30, Baldwin 20.

6. Gadsden County (3-6) at 2. Bolles (6-2): Bulldogs haven’t played in what feels like a full season. N4J pick: Bolles 24, Gadsden County 14.

Region 2-4A

3. Keystone Heights (10-1) at 2. Villages Charter (10-0): Indians will have a tough time matching last week’s result. N4J pick: Villages 35, Keystone 14.

Region 1-2A

4. St. Johns Paul II (9-2) at 1. Trinity Christian (6-4): Real season begins now for Conquerors. N4J pick: Trinity 28, St. John Paul II 13.

3. University Christian (7-4) vs. 2. Quincy Munroe (7-2), at Gadsden County High School: Christians are steamrolling their way to a regional final. N4J pick: UC 34, Munroe 14.

Region 3-1A

3. Union County (11-0) at 2. Hilliard (9-1): All-local collision goes in favor of the Tigers. N4J pick: Union County 28, Hilliard 23.

Region 4-1A

3. Bradford (6-5) at 2. Pahokee (7-1): Tornadoes with an upset on the road. N4J pick: Bradford 28, Pahokee 27.

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.