JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – High school football season is back. That means our football predictions are back, too.
News4JAX sports editor Justin Barney will reveal his picks for the week each Thursday. All game times are 7 p.m. unless indicated.
Last week: 10-7 (.588). Season: 295-93 (.760).
Friday, Nov. 18; all games 7 p.m. unless indicated
(4) Creekside (9-2) at (1) Bartram Trail (11-0): History is tough to ignore in this one. N4J pick: Bartram Trail 49, Creekside 33.
(3) Columbia (8-3) at (2) Escambia (8-3), 8 p.m.: Road trips like this are a monster. N4J pick: Escambia 27, Columbia 19.
(3) West Florida (8-2) at (2) Suwannee (9-2), 7:30 p.m.: Tough game but the red-hot Bulldogs stay on a collision course for the state semifinals. N4J pick: Suwannee 30, West Florida 14.
(5) Eastside (8-2) at (1) Bradford (10-1), 7:30 p.m.: This is Bradford’s region to lose. The Tornadoes are a state semifinal team with that defense. N4J pick: Bradford 27, Eastside 13.
(3) Baker County (8-3) at (2) Baldwin (9-2), 6:30 p.m.: Indians won this game by 23 in the regular season. Can they account for half of Baker County’s losses this season? N4J pick: Baldwin 21, Baker County 20.
(8) Riverside (5-6) at (5) Raines (8-2), 6:30 p.m.: Split on this game. The Generals are playing so well. Coach Antwan Nicholas has got Riverside believing. And this game was a dogfight for a half in the regular season. Going with the experience factor of the Vikings at the Graveyard. N4J pick: Raines 22, Riverside 20.
(7) Bishop Moore (8-3) at (3) Bolles (7-4), 7:30 p.m.: No rematch with Bishop Kenny, but the Bulldogs handle things against another Bishop team instead. N4J pick: Bolles 27, Bishop Moore 21.
(4) Orlando Christian Prep (6-4) at (1) Trinity Christian (10-0), 7:30 p.m.: Trinity had its issues with OCP last year in the state semifinals but I don’t think it’s a repeat this time. N4J pick: Trinity 30, OCP 13.
(3) First Academy (8-2) at (2) University Christian (9-1): Christians set up a date with Trinity on Black Friday. N4J pick: UC 34, First Academy 13.
(4) Madison County (4-6) at (1) Union County (6-2), 7:30 p.m.: Cowboys are a playoff institution this time of the year. N4J pick: Madison County 24, Union County 21.
(3) Lafayette (9-2) at (2) Hilliard (8-2): Another tossup game. Hornets won in the regular season. Can the Red Flashes even things up? N4J pick: Lafayette 21, Hilliard 20.