Start your postseason! High school football playoff road set

Trinity Christian hosted Bolles in the News4JAX Football Friday Game of the Week. The Conquerors, ranked No. 1 in the Super 10, won 27-14. (Kevin Nguyen, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The road to the high school football state playoffs is set.

The Florida High School Athletic Association released its postseason bracket on Sunday morning for its first playoff stretch involving the new Suburban and Metro divisions.

Bartram Trail, Bradford, Jackson, Trinity Christian and Union County all earned top seeds in their regions. Also jumping into the playoff field in the final week were First Coast and Yulee, which needed big final week victories to nab a spot. The Buccaneers and longtime coach Marty Lee, who is likely coaching his final season, upset Jackson 30-16 in Week 11 to notch the No. 8 seed in Region 1-3M. First Coast will visit unbeaten Orlando Edgewater on Friday.

Yulee pounded Menendez 35-7 in Week 11 and vaulted into the Region 2-2S field. The Hornets will visit Baker County in the opener. Yulee and Palatka both made the playoffs in 2-2S, edging out Tocoi Creek. The Toros were in the No. 6 spot going into Week 11 but were pounded by a one-win Nease team to miss out.

Jackson (8-2) hosted a state playoff game last season but will do so again this year as a district champ and top seed in Region 1-2M. That region is the area’s deepest, with seven of eight local programs. The Tigers will host Riverside, Bolles will host Episcopal and White will host Raines in all-local matchups. No. 2 seed Bishop Kenny will host Bishop Moore.

The new format included a new seeding structure. Teams were seeded 1-8 (in 2S-4S and 2M-4M) and 1-4 (in 1M and 1S), with district champions were still scheduled to host first-round playoff games, despite their seed. That was unless a district champ faced a district champ in the opening round. Then, the higher seeded district champ would host, a deviation from previous years where champs were seeded 1-4.

There was some confusion on that over the past two weeks. The FHSAA hadn’t updated its football manual to reflect the change that was made when Suburban-Metro was voted on. Previously, the manual said teams were to be seeded and made no mention of district champions hosting games.

That made scenarios like a No. 8 seed Mandarin hosting top-seeded Seminole in Region 1-4M and top-seeded Trinity Christian hosting No. 4 seed Orlando Christian Prep in Region 1-1M seem unusual, especially since OCP hammered No. 3 seed First Academy to win the district title.

High school football playoffs

Regional quarterfinals, Friday

Region 1-4S

(8) Flagler Palm Coast (4-6) at (1) Bartram Trail (10-0)

(4) Creekside (8-2) at (5) Navarre (8-2)

(7) Crestview (6-4) at (2) Niceville (9-1)

(6) Pace (7-3) at (3) Buchholz (7-2)

Region 1-3S

(8) Rickards (4-6) at (1) Pine Forest (9-0)

(5) Choctaw (5-5) at (4) St. Augustine (7-3), Saturday, 6 p.m.

(7) Middleburg (5-5) at (2) Escambia (7-3)

(6) Lincoln (5-5) at (3) Columbia (6-3)

Region 1-2S

(8) South Walton (7-3) at (1) Florida High (10-0)

(5) Wakulla (7-3) at (4) Pensacola Catholic (9-1)

(6) Panama City Bay (8-2) at (3) West Florida (7-2)

(7) Walton (7-3) at (2) Suwannee (8-2)

Region 2-2S

(8) Crescent City (4-6) at (1) Bradford (9-1)

(4) North Marion (7-3) at (5) Eastside (7-2)

(7) Palatka (7-3) at (2) Baldwin (8-2), Saturday, 6 p.m.

(6) Yulee (6-4) at (3) Baker County (7-3)

Region 1-4M

(1) Seminole (8-2) at (8) Mandarin (5-4), Saturday, 6 p.m.

(5) Hagerty (8-2) at (4) Lake Mary (6-3)

(7) Boone (6-4) at (2) Apopka (7-3)

(6) Lake Brantley (5-5) at (3) Winter Park (9-1)

Region 1-3M

(8) First Coast (6-3) at (1) Orlando Edgewater (10-0)

(5) Tampa Bay Tech (8-2) at (4) Fletcher (8-2)

(7) Wekiva (5-5) at (2) Orlando Jones (8-2)

(6) Tampa Wharton (8-2) at (3) Oviedo (9-1)

Region 1-2M

(8) Riverside (4-6) at (1) Jackson (8-2)

(7) Bishop Moore (7-3) at (2) Bishop Kenny (8-2)

(6) Episcopal (8-2) at (3) Bolles (6-4)

(5) Raines (7-2) at (4) White (7-2)

Region 3-1R

(5) Fort White (6-4) at (4) Madison County (3-6)

(6) Branford (7-3) at (3) Mayo Lafayette (8-2)

(1) Union County (6-2) and (2) Hilliard (8-2), first-round bye

Regional semifinals, Nov. 18

Region 1-1M

(4) Orlando Christian Prep (6-4) at (1) Trinity Christian (10-0)

(3) First Academy (8-2) at (2) University Christian (9-1)

Georgia High School Association playoffs

All games Friday at 7:30 unless indicated

Class 7A

(4) East Coweta (6-4) at (1) Camden County (7-3), Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

Class 6A

(4) Glynn Academy (6-4) at (1) Northside Warner Robins (6-4)

Class 5A

(4) Houston County (8-2) at (1) Brunswick (10-0)

(4) Jones County (6-4) at (1) Ware County (9-0), Saturday, 5:30 p.m.

Class 2A

(3) Laney (8-2) at (2) Pierce County (9-1)

Class 1A Division 2

(4) Seminole County (4-6) at (1) Charlton County (7-2)


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.