JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s Week 9 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.
More Week 9 coverage
Predictions for this week | Our picks for all the games in Week 9
Polling the coaches | Area leaders talk biggest issues, best coaches in area
Big honor for OP star | Rod Kearney gets All-America honor
Jackson’s back! | Renaissance of the Tigers’ program under Christopher Foy
District races tighten | A look at who’s clinched titles and what games are left
How the season has gone | Week-by-week results, 2022 television coverage archive
Four to watch
Baker County (5-2) at (3) Jackson (6-1), 6:30 p.m.
Both programs are trending towards the state playoffs. The Tigers will have a shot at a district title next week against Raines; the Wildcats are likely in as an at-large team, barring a late season collapse. This is a tough matchup for both teams. Jackson has been arguably the Gateway Conference’s best team this year under coach Christopher Foy, a turnaround few could have conceived even as recently as two years ago. They’ve won six straight, the lone blemish a 23-13 loss in Week 0 to unbeaten Brunswick. The Wildcats have run hot and cold this year but remain a dangerous team every week. RB Cam Smith could reach the 1,000-yard rushing mark this week (903 yards, 10 TDs) for Baker County. He’s averaging 11.7 ypc and 150.5 ypg. That ground attack will have Jackson’s full attention, but the Wildcats’ defense is tough, too. LBs Seth Chestnut (97 tackles) and Orlando Holland (85 tackles, 8.5 sacks) are tackling machines. DB Davion Dean has a team-best four interceptions. LB Grayson Howard is perhaps the best defensive player in the area, the face of a defensive unit that is holding teams to just 9 ppg. LB Thomas Fore and DE Jeremiah Lovely are field prowlers, and, like Howard, always around the ball. DB Seth Brooks leads the secondary with three interceptions. Can the Tigers shake out of somewhat of an offensive lull? They beat Ribault (22-6) and Riverside (6-2) in their last two games. Their defense didn’t allow points in those but their offense had its issues. Fred Gaines is a gamebreaker. He’s scored all four Jackson touchdowns in those last two games.
(8) Creekside (5-2, 1-2) at Fleming Island (4-2, 0-2)*
If the playoffs ended today, the Knights would be in and the Golden Eagles, ranked 10th in Region 1-4S FHSAA power rankings, would be out. Fleming can make its case with a strong finish and absolutely needs to win here, especially with Gainesville Buchholz still looming. Creekside, which ranks fifth in 1-4S, can’t afford to give away ground either. The Knights have been one of the area’s most consistent offenses, averaging 40.9 ppg. They give up a lot (34.7) but that has seldom been a problem. They have a strong ground game (RB Nicky Williams leads the way) and two capable QBs (Wilson Edwards, Sean Ashenfelder). Fleming RB Sam Singleton and QB Cibastian Broughton are the two offensive headliners. And the defense is filled with playmakers like LBs Abram Wright and Jhoel Robinson.
Dunnellon (5-2) at (4) Bradford (7-0), 7:30 p.m.
The Tornadoes are on pace for a mindboggling defensive season. Through six and a half games (a 21-0 game against Baker County was not resumed after a half due to weather) Bradford has allowed one touchdown all year. You read that correctly. Twenty-six quarters of football. Seven points. That came in the opening quarter of a Week 5 game against Quincy Munroe. Coach Jamie Rodgers and Bradford are surging and will face unbeaten and resurgent Palatka for the District 6-2S crown next week. But before that, Dunnellon, a perennially tough opponent, visits Starke in what shakes out to be Bradford’s most challenging opponent of the season.
Gainesville Buchholz (6-0, 2-0) at (2) Bartram Trail (7-0, 2-0)*
Game of the week in the area between District 3-4S contenders. The winner will get the district crown. The Bobcats are 5-4 against Bartram, including a convincing win last year that propelled them to a state semifinal season. Buchholz has won 12 straight games against area programs dating back to 2020. Its last loss to a local squad was Week 1 in 2020 against Oakleaf (35-14). The Bobcats have area wins over Oakleaf (45-31), Creekside (48-41) and Columbia (31-14) this year. Bartram is fresh from a 59-27 rout of Creekside in Week 8, which included huge showings from RB Laython Biddle (198 rushing yards, 3 TDs) and QB Riley Trujillo (323 passing yards, 4 TDs). While the 27 points allowed by the defense seems high, consider that Creekside entered averaging 43 ppg. Bartram’s defense, paced by LBs Caden Baldwin, Zeke Cromwell and Davis Houk, and Florida commit and DB Sharif Denson, is rock solid. As good as these teams are it’s likely that this could be a first of two meetings this year. A look at the series between the programs below.
|2021||Gainesville Buchholz 28, Bartram Trail 13|
|2018||Bartram Trail 38, Gainesville Buchholz 35|
|2017||Bartram Trail 53, Gainesville Buchholz 21|
|2016||Gainesville Buchholz 17, Bartram Trail 10|
|2015||Gainesville Buchholz 35, Bartram Trail 28|
|2014||Bartram Trail 32, Gainesville Buchholz 7|
|2013||Gainesville Buchholz 24, Bartram Trail 21, 3 OT|
|2006||Bartram Trail 24, Gainesville Buchholz 13|
|2004||Gainesville Buchholz 55, Bartram Trail 34|
Episcopal (5-2) at Yulee (3-3): The Eagles rank sixth in Region 1-2M and just about a lock for the playoffs at this point. The Hornets rank 10th in their region and need to win out and get some help for a playoff nod.
Riverside (2-6) at Sandalwood (4-3), 6:30 p.m.: Generals are in a slump, losers of six in a row. But they have been in games. Saints have won three straight and will play for a district title next week.
Palatka (7-0) at Fernandina Beach (3-3): The Panthers are surging and will play for a district title next week. They rank just fifth in Region 2-2S in FHSAA so they need to keep winning and get into at least a No. 4 position to guarantee a home playoff game. The Pirates need are ninth in the region but have a long way to go to get into a playoff spot considering likely district champ Crescent City ranks eighth and is poised to nab an automatic berth. The more likely target is catching Tocoi Creek, but the Toros are comfortably ahead and have a more favorable finishing schedule than Fernandina.
White (4-2) at Ribault (3-4), 6:30 p.m.: Trojans are good enough to give the Commanders problems. White has been more explosive that not but was shut down in its last outing, a 22-8 defeat to Fletcher in Week 7.
Week 9 schedule, Florida
All games at 7 p.m. unless indicated; district games indicated by an *
Thursday, Oct. 20
Trinity Christian 47, Christ’s Church 14*
Friday, Oct. 21
Baker County (5-2) at Jackson (6-1), 6:30 p.m.
Bishop Snyder (5-2) at Seven Rivers Christian (5-2)
Branford (5-3) at Cedar Creek Christian (4-2)
Creekside (5-2, 1-2) at Fleming Island (4-2, 0-2)*
Crescent City (3-3) at Beachside (4-3)
Dunnellon (5-2) at Bradford (7-0, 7:30 p.m.
Englewood (3-4) at Westside (1-6), 6:30 p.m.
Episcopal (5-2) at Yulee (3-3)
Faith Christian (3-4) at Eagle’s View (1-5)
First Coast (4-2) at Paxon (2-5), 6:30 p.m.
Flagler Palm Coast (5-3) at Celebration (0-6)
Fort White (4-3) at Ridgeview (1-7)
Gadsden County at Columbia (4-3), 7:30 p.m.
Gainesville (0-8, 0-3) at St. Augustine (4-3, 2-0)*
Gainesville Buchholz (6-0, 2-0) at Bartram Trail (7-0, 2-0)*
Halifax Academy (2-5) at Interlachen (7-0), 7:30 p.m.
Harvest Community (2-4) at Providence (3-4)
Hilliard (6-2) at Destin (1-5)
Impact Christian (1-5) at Wolfson (3-4), 6:30 p.m.
Madison County (2-5) at Oakleaf (3-4)
Matanzas (3-4, 1-1) at Clay (2-5, 1-1)*
Orange Park (2-5) at Ponte Vedra (3-4)
Palatka (7-0) at Fernandina Beach (3-3)
Parker (2-6) at University Christian (7-1), 7:30 p.m.
Raines (5-1) at Atlantic Coast (0-7), 6:30 p.m.
Riverside (2-6) at Sandalwood (4-3), 6:30 p.m.
St. Joseph (2-5) at Stanton (0-6), 6:30 p.m.
Santa Fe (1-6) at Union County (4-2), 7:30 p.m.
Taylor Pierson (1-6) at Keystone Heights (1-6), 7:30 p.m.
West Nassau (2-6, 0-2) at Baldwin (6-1, 3-0), 6:30 p.m.*
White (4-2) at Ribault (3-4), 6:30 p.m.
Young Kids in Motion (3-3) at Seffner Christian (3-4), 7:30 p.m.
Zarephath Academy (2-4) at Jordan Christian Prep (1-3)
Off: Bishop Kenny, Bolles, Fletcher, Hollis Christian, Mandarin, Menendez, Middleburg, Nease, Suwannee, Tocoi Creek.
Week 10 schedule, Georgia
All games at 7:30 p.m.; region games indicated by an *
Friday, Oct. 21
Brunswick (7-0, 3-0) at South Effingham (3-3, 1-2)*
Evans (3-4, 1-2) at Glynn Academy (4-4, 2-2)*
Greenbrier (0-7, 0-2) at Ware County (6-0, 2-0)*
Valdosta (7-0, 1-0) at Camden County (5-3, 1-1)*
Windsor Forest (1-7, 0-3) at Pierce County (6-1, 2-1)*
Off: Charlton County.