High school football ‘23: Four games to watch, full schedule for Week 2

Tocoi Creek's Emmanuel McNair runs after a catch during an Aug. 17 preseason game against Paxon. (Ralph D. Priddy, Ralph D. Priddy)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It’s the second week 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. Super 10 rankings are in parentheses. Want to check out our Week 2 predictions? Find those here.

Want an update on our latest Super 10 rankings? Find those here.

Want to get up to speed on the 2023 season and check out our Terrific 12 recruits and best games of the season? Find those here.

Want to check out the full week-by-week schedule and results and all of our television coverage? Find that here.

Top four for Friday night

(8) Bolles (0-1) at (4) Mandarin (1-0), 6:30 p.m.

The Bulldogs couldn’t hold off a determined St. Augustine in Week 1, losing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter and falling in an epic 43-36 game. How do they respond? Look for a steady dose of running backs in this one. Tyrone Neal (124 rushing yards, TD) and Emmett Grzebin (103 rushing yards, 2 TDs) did the heavy lifting last week. WR Naeem Burroughs picked back up his electric pace from 2022 with a pair of TD catches. As good as Mandarin QB Tramell Jones and WR Jaime Ffrench are, how about the running backs? Tiant Wyche went for 151 and three TDs in the opener against Fletcher. Deshard Westcott added 56 and a TD as Mandarin averaged 8.4 yards rushing. Jon Mitchell and Drake Stubbs had picks to lead Mandarin’s defense.

Creekside (0-1) at Nease (1-0)

These teams seem to always provide interesting and the occasional wildly back-and-forth game. Last year, the Knights won 62-41. In 2019, Creekside won 58-51. Knights coach Sean McIntyre has won five straight games against the Panthers. In six games coaching against Nease, his teams have averaged 46.2 points. The Knights dropped their opener to Palm Beach Central (55-48), so that defense is going to need to tighten up. QB Sean Ashenfelder accounted for five TDs in that game (3 rushing, 2 passing). The Panthers were on the other side of that column last week, getting a Danny Jones field goal in OT to edge Jackson. If the post-Marcus Stokes era has an identity early, it’s that defense and special teams can deliver wins just as easy as lighting up the scoreboard for coach Collin Drafts.

(5) Bradford (1-0) at Baldwin (1-0), Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

The Tornadoes never got their offense going in a Week 1 win over Baker County. Their 151 yards of total offense and one TD wasn’t an inspiring start. But that defense remains a ridiculously talented and feared unit. Bradford had 11 tackles for loss, five sacks and two takeaways to post its 10th shutout in its last 15 games under coach Jamie Rodgers. As long as that defense continues to perform, two touchdowns should suffice. Baldwin’s ground game was stout in a romp over Wolfson, with six players accounting for 187 yards and a pair of TDs in a half. But the Indians had an excellent performance on defense, too, returning three picks for TDs, including two from Octavious Barnes.

(1) Trinity Christian (1-0) at Plantation American Heritage (1-0), 7:30 p.m.

The Conquerors picked things up in the second half last week for a 33-8 win over White. RB Darnell Rogers didn’t hit the end zone but he was extremely challenging to bring down. Rogers rushed for 181 yards on 17 carries and flashed why he’s in the conversation as the area’s top back. WRs Miles Burris (88 yards, 2 TDs) and Kyle Boylston (96 yards, TD) remain QB Colin Hurley’s favorite target. The Patriots are annually one of the most talented teams in the state. They played for the Class 2M state championship last season. This is a massive early test for Trinity, comparable to what it would see in the Class 1M title game against Chaminade-Madonna.

Next four

Englewood (1-0) at Menendez (1-0), 6:30 p.m.: First-year head coaches Kevin Johnson (Englewood) and Anthony Rivers (Menendez) notched their first varsity wins in their openers. One of those men will stay unbeaten after this one, too.

Sandalwood (0-1) at White (0-1), 6:30 p.m.: Tough offensive showings for both teams in Week 1, but a big-time opportunity to get things warmed up this week.

Titusville (1-0) at Yulee (1-0): A big win over Charlton County last week, and a very balanced offense (Nikao Smith passed for 265 and 3 TDs, Teonte Artis-Croxton rushed for 138 of Yulee’s 196 yards and 3 TDs) showcase how much the Hornets have evolved.

Williston (1-0) at First Coast (0-1): It’s a quickly thrown together game featuring two longtime coaches in First Coast’s Marty Lee and the Red Devils’ Robby Pruitt, who won four state championships at University Christian and three more at Union County.

Florida schedule, Week 2

Friday, Sept. 1

  • Baker County (0-1) at Oakleaf (1-0), canceled
  • Beachside (0-1) at Fernandina Beach (1-0)
  • (7) Bishop Kenny (1-0) at Middleburg (0-1), postponed to Oct. 20
  • (8) Bolles (0-1) at (4) Mandarin (1-0), 6:30 p.m.
  • (5) Bradford (1-0) at Baldwin (1-0), postponed to Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
  • Branford (1-0) at Duval Charter (0-1), canceled
  • Charlton County (0-2) at West Nassau (0-1)
  • Christ’s Church (1-0) at Impact Christian (1-0), postponed to Oct. 6
  • Creekside (0-1) at Nease (1-0)
  • Daytona Beach Seabreeze (0-1) at Bartram Trail (1-0)
  • Eagle’s View (1-0) at Harvest Community (0-1)
  • Englewood (1-0) at Menendez (1-0), 6:30 p.m.
  • Father Lopez at Cedar Creek Christian (0-1)
  • Fort White (1-0) at Jefferson County (0-1), postponed
  • Fleming Island (1-0) at NFEI (1-0)
  • Fletcher (0-1) at Tallahassee Chiles (0-1)
  • Gainesville Eastside (1-0) at Keystone Heights (0-0), 7:30 p.m.
  • Gainesville Oak Hall (1-0) at Bishop Snyder (1-0)
  • Hamilton County (1-0) at Suwannee (1-0), canceled
  • Hilliard (0-0) at Cambridge Christian (1-0)
  • Interlachen (0-1) at Providence (0-1)
  • Joshua Christian (0-0) at Rocky Bayou Christian (1-0)
  • Matanzas (1-0) at Tocoi Creek (1-0)
  • Williston (1-0) at First Coast (0-1)
  • Orange Park (0-1) at Episcopal (1-0)
  • Palatka (1-0) at Port Orange Atlantic (0-1)
  • Ponte Vedra (1-0) at Florida High (0-0)
  • Ribault (1-0) at Atlantic Coast (1-0), postponed to Tuesday, 6:30 p.m.
  • Ridgeview (0-1) at Clay (0-1)
  • Riverside (1-0) at Parker (0-1)
  • St. Augustine (1-0) at St. Pete Gibbs (0-1), canceled
  • St. Joseph (0-1) at Windermere (1-0)
  • Sandalwood (0-1) at White (0-1), 6:30 p.m.
  • Stanton (0-1) at NFEI (1-0), canceled
  • Titusville (1-0) at Yulee (1-0)
  • Trinity Christian (1-0) at Plantation American Heritage (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
  • Umatilla (0-1) at Crescent City (0-1)
  • Union County (1-0) at Columbia (0-1), postponed
  • University Christian (0-1) at Tallahassee North Florida Christian (0-1)
  • Westside (0-1) at Jackson (0-1)
  • Wolfson (0-1) at Paxon (0-1)
  • Young Kids in Motion (0-0) in Motion at American Collegiate (1-0)
  • Zarephath Academy (0-1) at Hollis Christian (0-1)
  • OFF: Baker County, Bishop Kenny, Christ’s Church, Columbia, Duval Charter, Flagler Palm Coast, Impact Christian, Middleburg, Oakleaf, Raines, St. Augustine, Stanton, Suwannee, Union County.

Georgia schedule, Week 3

Thursday, Aug. 31

  • Winter Park (1-0) at Brunswick (1-0), canceled

Friday, Sept. 1

  • Baldwin (2-0) at Ware County (2-0), 7:30 p.m.
  • Camden County (1-1) at Glynn Academy (2-0), 7:30 p.m.
  • Charlton County (0-2) at West Nassau (0-1)
  • Metter (1-1) at Pierce County (2-0), 7:30 p.m.

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.