High school playoffs ‘22: Glance at Metro, Rural regional final matchups

Trinity Christian quarterback Colin Hurley scrambles during a game against Bolles this season. (Kevin Nguyen, News4JAX)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s the second round of the high school football state playoffs. A glance at the matchups in the Metro and Rural divisions. All games are Friday at 7 p.m. unless indicated.

Regional finals

Region 1-2M

(5) Raines (9-2) at (3) Bolles (8-4), 7:30 p.m.

Road here: Raines d. (4) White, 34-22; d. (8) Riverside, 18-0; Bolles d. (6) Episcopal, 38-6; d. (7) Orlando Bishop Moore, 27-10.

Winner gets: Teams will be reseeded 1-4 for the state semifinals. Miami Central (24.886), Plantation American Heritage (18.655), Cardinal Gibbons (16.700), Miami Norland (14.428), Bolles (11.972), Raines (11.049), Calvary Christian (9.889) and St. Petersburg Lakewood (8.900) are the teams in Class 1-2M regional finals. The Bolles-Raines winner is guaranteed to travel for the state semifinals.

Glance: It’s the resumption of a rivalry that was one of the area’s best when Corky Rogers and Deran Wiley were leading the Bulldogs and Vikings, respectively. Now, it’s Matt Toblin at Bolles and Donovan Masline at Raines facing off for a spot in the state semifinals. The Bulldogs have been to the state final four all three seasons under Toblin, who replaced Wayne Belger following his retirement after the 2018 season. Masline, who replaced a two-time state championship coach Wiley in 2020, has taken Raines to the postseason in each of his three seasons. He’s still in search of his first trip to the state semifinals. Bolles-Raines’ games of the past tended to feature wild and almost unbelievable swings. Whichever team managed to navigate those highs and lows the best often won. Bolles’ season can be divvied up into three slices — a good start, an injury-marred three-game losing streak and a solid finish. It also included a stunning 14-13 loss to Bishop Kenny, its first to the Crusaders since 1977. Bolles bounced back with its best win of the season, a 49-28 rout of Gainesville Buchholz, a state semifinalist last year in Class 7A. The Bulldogs have had to remake themselves this season with a different type of offense. QB DJ Moore (1,054 passing yards, 11 TDs) is passing quarterback backed by a running game that is still developing. Ty Neal (994 rushing yards, 10 TDs) has become the No. 1 back. WR Naeem Burroughs (609 receiving yards, 6 TDs) is talented and a gamebreaker. The defense is tough. LBs Trent Carter (93 tackles, 6 TFL) and Skyler Malone (74 tackles, 8 TFL) and DB Kavon Miller (5 INT) lead a very good defense. The Vikings’ strength is on the defensive side of the ball, with Florida State-bound DB Kenton Kirkland (49 tackles, 2 INT) the big name. LB Jamari Whitehead (81 tackles, 19 TFL, 13.5 sacks) has been the most active and disruptive of a talented Raines defense. LB Terrence Forbes Jr. (74 tackles, 10.5 TFL), LBs/DLs Jaylen Clark (71 tackles, 9 TFL) and Jahlil Richardson (70 tackles, 11 TFL), and S/LB Jayden Taylor (70 tackles) power a fast and gap-filling defensive unit. The offense has been a work in progress for Raines. QB Roman Doles has been more effective as a runner this season (772 rushing yards, 7 TDs) and has thrown four TD passes and had just one pick over the final month. Doles, packaged with RBs Sincere Cohen (366 rushing yards, 5 TDs) and Mark Miller (349 rushing yards, 6 TDs) give the Vikings an array of packages out of the backfield.

Recent Bolles-Raines history

2016 playoffsBolles 60, Raines 20
2016Bolles 24, Raines 23
2015 playoffsRaines 34, Bolles 8
2015Raines 35, Bolles 30
2014 playoffsBolles 20, Raines 13
2014Raines 34, Bolles 33
2013 playoffsBolles 35, Raines 28, OT
2013Raines 45, Bolles 31
2012Bolles 24, Raines 21
2011 playoffsBolles 24, Raines 6
2011Raines 26, Bolles 21
2006Bolles 31, Raines 14
2005Raines 34, Bolles 21
2004 playoffsBolles 28, Raines 7
2004Bolles 21, Raines 8

Region 1-1M

(2) University Christian (10-1) at (1) Trinity Christian (11-0), 7:30 p.m.

Road here: UC d. (3) Orlando First Academy, 42-13; Trinity d. Orlando Christian Prep, 30-13.

Winner gets: Teams will be reseeded 1-4 for the state semifinals. Trinity (19.636) Chaminade-Madonna (19.555), UC (17.761), Clearwater Central Catholic (17.077), Cardinal Newman (16.217), Carrollwood Day (9.955), True North (2.061) and Palmer Trinity (-2.575) are the other teams in Class 1-1M regional finals. The winner of Trinity-UC is guaranteed to host a state semifinal.

Glance: Get ready for Round 2. Trinity won the regular season matchup 20-13, a tough, smashmouth game that was decided in the trenches. The big difference in that game and the upcoming one — Trinity didn’t complete a pass. The Conquerors played without QB Colin Hurley, who missed the game with injury. That led to a constant barrage of RBs Treyaun Webb and Darnell Rogers to the tune of 312 yards on the ground. Rogers has rushed for 1,031 yards and 12 TDs; Webb has 997 yards and 18 TDs. Hurley (1,303 passing yards, 15 TDs) will be back this time which will force UC to account for the pass. Trinity sold out to stop the run against UC in the regular season, honing in on the electric Orel Gray (1,739 rushing yards, 28 TDs). He was held to 79 yards and two TDs on the ground, and he’ll be in the Conquerors’ crosshairs again. That opened things up for Dwayne Stuckey last time and he can spin it (1,198 passing yards, 12 TDs). His biggest target is WR Jenoa Alford (708 receiving yards, 9 TDs). Both teams have strong defenses, too. LB Luke Thomas (89 tackles, 19.5 TFL, 2 INT), DE Desirrio Riles (59 tackles, 19 TFL, 10 sacks) and Gray (team-best 3 INT) are high-motor, disruptive players. The Conquerors have one of the area’s best pure LBs in Cameron Anderson (130 tackles, 19 TFL, 6.5 sacks) and a ballhawk DB in Kyle Boylston (6 INT). The Conquerors have won 17 straight in this series. UC’s last victories came in a 54-13 rout in 1991 and a 44-6 win in 1992, seasons that ended in state championships for the Christians and coach Robby Pruitt.

Recent Trinity Christian-University Christian history

2022Trinity Christian 20, University Christian 13
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

Region 3-1R

(3) Lafayette (10-2) at (1) Union County (7-2)

Road here: Lafayette d. (6) Branford, 35-7; d. (2) Hilliard, 31-13; Union County had a first-round bye, then d. (4) Madison County, 27-16.

Winner gets: Teams will be reseeded 1-4 for the state semifinals. Hawthorne (14.952), Pahokee (14.510), Northview (11.538), Union County (10.748), Chipley (10.534), Sneads (8.239) and Blountstown (5.272) are the teams in Class 1R regional finals.

Glance: The third playoff meeting between these teams, with a win by Union in 2019 and a victory for Lafayette a year earlier. The Tigers won their playoff opener last week with a history-making win over Madison County, a team it was 0-4 against all-time in the postseason. The balance of Union County is impressive this season. RB Rayvon Durant (1,328 rushing yards, 14 TDs), WR Daylyn Diston (593 receiving yards, 5 TDs) and dual-threat QB AJ Cortese (1,265 passing yards, 13 TDs, 549 rushing yards, 9 TDs) give Tigers coach Andrew Thomas a very capable offensive cluster. On defense, FL Markus Strong (42 tackles, 15 TFL, 7 sacks), and LBs Dayviontae Thompson (47 tackles, 6 TFL, 4 sacks) and Dalton Lane (44 tackles, 8 TFL) are the ringleaders of a defense that has played very well, even in losses. Both of Union County’s defeats have come to teams who are still alive in the state playoffs (University Christian in Week 1 and 2021 state runner-up Hawthorne in Week 8.

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.