JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The area is down to its final four high school football teams.
Baker County, Bolles and Trinity Christian moved on in the Florida state playoffs, while Pierce County continued its trek in the Georgia postseason.
The dreams seasons of Nease and Union County ended in road games on Friday night one step short of the state semifinals. The Panthers (9-4) couldn’t catch up after playing Gainesville Buchholz (12-1) to a 16-7 game in the first half, falling 37-14 to end their best season since a state runner-up finish in 2007.
Second-seeded Bolles crushed top-seeded and overmatched South Walton, 55-7, to barrel into next week’s Class 4A state semifinals at Cocoa.
Kade Frew had three touchdowns in the first quarter and DJ Moore hit Patrick Green on a 90-yard score to put Bolles up 28-0 early in the second quarter.
In Class 5A, Cam Smith had three rushing touchdowns and Baker County’s top-shelf defense continued to steal the show in a 26-10 win over visiting Wakulla. The win puts the Wildcats (11-2) in the state semifinals next week for the third time, and first since a 2017 state runner-up finish. Baker County, locked in to the No. 3 seed for the semis, will travel to face either Merritt Island or Miami Central for that game.
In Class 1A, Union County’s perfect season ended with a 28-27 loss to top-seeded Chiefland. The Tigers scored with just over a minute to play but had the tying two-point conversion play denied. Union County’s season ends at 12-1.
In the Georgia High School Association playoffs, Pierce County fended off a tough Peach County, 35-30, to reach the state semifinals.
Florida playoff results
Friday, Regional finals
1. Gainesville Buchholz 37, 7. Nease 14
1. Baker County 26, 3. Wakulla 10
2. Bolles 55, 1. South Walton 7
1. Trinity Christian 39, 2. Quincy Munroe 22
1. Chiefland 29, 3. Union County 27
Georgia playoff results
Pierce County 35, Peach County 30
Florida playoff schedule
Dec. 3, State semifinals
Class 5A (schedule will be finalized after Saturday game)
TBA. Merritt Island (12-1); .671 RPI
4. Sebring (9-3); .573 RPI
3. Baker County (11-2); .618 RPI
Miami Killian (.694)/Miami Central (.656) play Saturday
4. Bolles (8-2) at 1. Cocoa (10-1)
3. Lakewood (11-2) at 2. Cardinal Gibbons (9-2)
4. Trinity Christian (8-4) at 1. Orlando Christian Prep (10-1)
3. Champagnat Catholic (9-2) at 2. First Baptist Academy (10-1)
Georgia playoff schedule
Dec. 3, state semifinals
Carver (11-2) at Pierce County (11-2)