High school football ‘22: Bartram-Creekside, UC-Trinity headline major district clashes in Week 8

Creekside's Nicky Williams carries the ball during a game against Nease. (Kevin Nguyen, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s Week 8 of the high school football season. We take a look at the top four games, the next four options and the full schedule for teams in north Florida and south Georgia.

All games are 7 p.m. unless indicated. District games indicated by an *. Super 10 rankings are in parentheses.

Week 8 predictions | Who are picks are for this week

Super 10 rankings | Week of upsets reshuffles the top 10

Results, schedules | Check out all the coverage from the season and the remaining schedule

Four to watch

(2) Bartram Trail (6-0, 1-0) at (4) Creekside (5-1, 1-1)*

Depending on your preference, this could potentially be the best game on the area schedule this week. The Bears remain one of the area’s most consistent teams year after year. This rivalry matchup is always big but it’s bigger than usual this year. Both teams still have aspirations of winning the District 3-4S title. A loss by the Knights would all but eliminate them from the district race (barring some serious upsets). The Bears need to win to move towards a winner-take-all showdown with Gainesville Buchholz. The loser here is still positioned well for the playoffs. Bartram is first in the region in the FHSAA rankings (17.175 rating), while Creekside is fourth (9.691). The Bears have owned this rivalry since it began, going 13-1 against Creekside. The games have been razor-thin battles the last two seasons, with the Bears winning on a field goal in 2021. It’s been a coin flip on what side of the ball will take the reins each week for Bartram. Its defense took center stage last week, choking out a good Fleming Island offense in a 17-0 win. LB Zeke Cromwell (55 tackles, 4 TFL) and DB Sharif Denson (16 tackles, INT) are the names to keep an eye on in what has developed into a tough and very capable defense on Bartram. The Bears are allowing just 13.5 ppg. On the other side of the ball, it’s been a different type of season for the Bears. While they’re capable of putting up a big number (they dropped 59 on rival St. Augustine on Sept. 23), the offense has leaned on steady and efficient games to lead the way this year rather than consistent 40-point nights. RB Laython Biddle (593 rushing yards, 11 TDs) and QB Riley Trujillio (340 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 847 passing yards, 5 TDs) are the offensive headliners for Bartram. The Knights have been the one with the big offense this season. Having trouble stopping the other team? No problem. Just outscore them. Creekside is giving up a ton of points (30.7 ppg) but it is averaging 43.2 ppg. Those yards and TDs have come from everywhere, including RB Nicky Williams (642 rushing yards, 13 TDs) and QBs Wilson Edwards (829 passing yards, 9 TDs) and Sean Ashenfelder (189 rushing yards, 3 TDs, 176 passing yards, 2 TDs). DB Jaylen Boyer (3 INT) and LBs Ian Mooney and Nathan Hernandez (84 combined tackles) lead the Creekside defense.

Bartram Trail-Creekside history
2021Bartram Trail 16, Creekside 13
2020Bartram Trail 50, Creekside 40
2019Bartram Trail 28, Creekside 14
2018Bartram Trail 34, Creekside 21
2017Bartram Trail 49, Creekside 0
2016Bartram Trail 63, Creekside 7
2015Bartram Trail 31, Creekside 0
2014Creekside 37, Bartram Trail 24
2013Bartram Trail 47, Creekside 12
2012Bartram Trail 44, Creekside 24
2011Bartram Trail 38, Creekside 17
2010Bartram Trail 24, Creekside 10
2009Bartram Trail 42, Creekside 18
2008Bartram Trail 47, Creekside 0

Episcopal (5-1, 0-1) at Bishop Kenny (6-1, 1-0)*

The Crusaders saw their perfect record end last week in a 32-31 loss to Ponte Vedra. That touched off a what is a challenging second half of the season for Kenny. The good news for the Crusaders is that they remain on track to play for the District 2-2M title on Oct. 28 against Bolles. To do that, Kenny has to get past a dangerous Eagles team first. Kenny won this game 35-14 last season and again enters as the favorite. QB James Resar is a dangerous two-way player for the Crusaders, with big targets in WRs Jayden Harris and Jackson Burnett. LB Kolbe Sexton and Kenny will look to rein in WR Corey Scott, RB Christian Davis and QB Joseph Wiesner. Even without winning the 2-2M title, both of these teams remain in good position to reach the postseason. The Crusaders enter this week ranked No. 2 in Region 1-2M (9.995 rating), with the Eagles at No. 5 (7.364). The top eight teams in each region (four district champs, the next four-highest rated teams) qualify for the playoffs.

Riverside (2-5) at (3) Jackson (5-1), 6:30 p.m.

This game is always a good one and one of the longest rivalries in the area. The Generals have been in a rebuild under coach Antwan Nicholas. They enter on a five-game losing streak and have given up 28 points or more each game during that skid. The Generals did player very well in last week’s 30-14 loss to top-ranked Trinity Christian. It was a 14-all game in the fourth quarter before Trinity pulled away. Riverside QB Devin Herring (444 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 534 passing yards, 4 TDs) is the heartbeat of the Generals offense. They just don’t score enough. Jamal Harvey-Jackson (25 tackles, 7 sacks), LB/S Zaire Moody (45 tackles, 9 TFL) and DL De’Avery Weeks (43 tackles, 9 TFL lead a Riverside defense that still packs a punch. Jackson has turned the corner under coach Christopher Foy, ripping off five straight wins after a Week 0 loss to Brunswick. They’ve done very well with QB King Johnson (1,155 passing yards, 8 TDs, 201 rushing yards, 3 TDs) and WRs Terrance Holland (459 yards, 3 TDs) and Fred Gaines (270 yards, 3 TDs) leading the way. LB Grayson Howard (109 tackles, 15 TFL, 4 sacks) and DB/LB Seth Brooks (50 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 INT) lead a defense that is holding teams to just 10 ppg.

(5) University Christian (7-0, 2-0) at (1) Trinity Christian (6-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*

Arguably the biggest game in the area this week comes in this District 1-1M showdown between these state powerhouse private schools. Both have nine state championships, although Trinity has owned this series. The Conquerors have won 16 consecutive games against UC. The Christians last won in 1991. Trinity has the third-highest Class 1M rating in the state (17.066) followed by UC (16.818) in fourth. Those ratings are Nos. 1 and 2 in the region. Trinity’s goal will be to slow dynamic UC back Orel Gray, who has punished teams this season. Gray, who has been playing on varsity since eighth grade, is out to the best start of his career. He’s rushed for 1,101 yards and 19 TDs this season. And he’s also got a team-best two interceptions. The Christians have shifted away from just a power running game behind a few players. QB Dwayne Stuckey (802 passing yards, 10 TDs) has the ability to air it out, with his primary target WR Jenoa Alford (484 yards, 7 TDs). The Christians have a tough defense, too. LB Luke Thomas leads UC with 57 tackles and 12.5 TFL. Converted QB Desirrio Riles (5.5 sacks, 11.5 TFL) has become an every-down force on the defensive side of the ball. LB Dah’kari Gilley is second on the team in tackles (43) and leads in TFL (15.5). The big question — can UC stick with Trinity for a full four quarters? The Conquerors have a big-time backfield with RBs Treyaun Webb (538 yards, 9 TDs) and Darnell Rogers (592 yards, 9 TDs) at the forefront of the offensive attack. That presence has allowed QB Colin Hurley to really take a step forward as a passer (954 yards, 12 TDs) and give offensive coordinator Guss Scott a bit more to work with. WR Miles Burris (455 yards, 7 TDs) is the main target but London Smith has emerged, too. Trinity LB Cameron Anderson is one of the best defenders in town. He had 22 tackles in last week’s win over Riverside and is up to 79, including 11.5 for loss, on the season.

Recent UC-Trinity Christian football history
2016Trinity Christian 31, University Christian 23
2015Trinity Christian 35, University Christian 20
2014Trinity Christian 42, University Christian 12
2013Trinity Christian 39, University Christian 0
2012Trinity Christian 36, University Christian 8
2011Trinity Christian 45, University Christian 7
2008Trinity Christian 40, University Christian 0
2007Trinity Christian 48, University Christian 7
2006Trinity Christian 43, University Christian 7
2005Trinity Christian 41, University Christian 22
2004Trinity Christian 21, University Christian 10
2003Trinity Christian 33, University Christian 20
2002Trinity Christian 36, University Christian 30
2001Trinity Christian 71, University Christian 25
1998Trinity Christian 79, University Christian 14
1997Trinity Christian 14, University Christian 7
1991University Christian 54, Trinity Christian 13
1988Trinity Christian 6, University Christian 6

Next four

(9) Mandarin (4-2) at Fleming Island (3-2), 7:30 p.m.: This is a big challenge for the Mustangs, who have to go against a tough, tough Golden Eagles defense.

Middleburg (3-4, 1-0) at Columbia (3-3, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*: The surging Broncos have won three straight and can all but wrap up the District 3-3S title with a win here (and an Orange Park loss to Ridgeview. The Tigers can sew this up with a win and a Ridgeview loss to Orange Park.

Nease (1-6, 0-0) at Flagler Palm Coast (4-3, 1-0)*: As tough as it’s been this season for the Panthers, they can turn things around in a hurry with a win here. A win keeps them in the District 4-4S race. For the Bulldogs, a win delivers them the district title.

Oakleaf (3-3, 1-1) at Gainesville Buchholz (5-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*: The Knights likely aren’t going to qualify for the playoffs unless they win the District 3-4S title. An upset over the favored Bobcats will be a huge step in that direction.

Week 8 schedule, Florida

All games 7 p.m. unless indicated; district games indicated by an *

Thursday, Oct. 13

Atlantic Coast (0-6, 0-0) at Sandalwood (3-3, 0-0), 6:30 p.m.*

Matanzas (2-4, 0-1) at Gainesville (0-7, 0-2)*

Wolfson (3-3, 0-1) at Bolles (4-3, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*

Friday, Oct. 14

Baker County (4-2, 1-1) at Yulee (3-2, 0-1)*

Bartram Trail (6-0, 1-0) at Creekside (5-1, 1-1)*

Christ’s Church (1-5, 0-1) at Providence (2-4, 0-1)*

Eagle’s View (1-4) at Bishop Snyder (4-2)

Episcopal (5-1, 0-1) at Bishop Kenny (6-1, 1-0)*

Fort White (3-3) at Dixie County (2-4), 7:30 p.m.

Fletcher (5-2, 1-0) at Englewood (3-3, 0-1), 6:30 p.m.*

Gainesville Oak Hall (6-0) at Cedar Creek Christian (4-1)

Gainesville PK Yonge (1-5) at St. Joseph (2-4)

Hawthorne (4-1) at Union County (5-0), 7:30 p.m.

Harvest Community (2-3) at Aucilla Christian (4-2)

Hilliard (5-2) at Hamilton County (1-3), 7:30 p.m.

Hollis Christian (1-5) at Faith Christian (3-3)

Interlachen (6-0) at Bell (4-3)

Madison County (2-4) at Suwannee (4-3), 7:30 p.m.

Mandarin (4-2) at Fleming Island (3-2), 7:30 p.m.

Menendez (3-4, 1-1) at Clay (2-4, 1-0)*

Middleburg (3-4, 1-0) at Columbia (3-3, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*

Nease (1-6, 0-0) at Flagler Palm Coast (4-3, 1-0)*

Oakleaf (3-3, 1-1) at Gainesville Buchholz (5-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*

Orange Park (1-5, 0-1) at Ridgeview (1-6, 0-1)*

Palatka (6-0, 1-0) at Keystone Heights (1-5, 0-1), 7:30 p.m.*

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

Paxon (1-5) at Beachside (4-2)

Ponte Vedra (3-3) at Trinity Catholic (4-2)

Port Orange Atlantic (1-6, 1-0) at Crescent City (2-3, 1-0)*

Riverside (2-5) at Jackson (5-1), 6:30 p.m.

Tocoi Creek (4-2, 0-1) at Bradford (6-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*

University Christian (7-0, 2-0) at Trinity Christian (6-0, 1-0), 7:30 p.m.*

West Nassau (2-5, 0-1) at Fernandina Beach (2-3, 0-1)*

Westside (1-5) at Baldwin (5-1), 6:30 p.m.

Young Kids in Motion (2-3) at Impact Christian (1-4)

Zarephath Academy (2-4-1) at Chiefland (5-0), canceled

Off: North Florida Educational, Raines, Ribault, St. Augustine, Stanton, White, Zarephath Academy.

Week 9 schedule, Georgia

All games at 7:30 p.m.; region games indicated by an *

Friday, Oct. 14

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

Charlton County (4-2, 1-0) at Atkinson County (2-4, 0-0)*

Grovetown (3-4, 0-3) at Glynn Academy (3-4, 1-2)*

Toombs County (4-3, 1-2) at Pierce County (5-1, 1-1)*

Ware County (5-0, 1-0) at Bradwell Institute (0-6, 0-1)*

Off: Brunswick.

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.