GARY LLOYD McCULLOUGH/CORRESPONDENT St. Augustine running back Dexter Brown (15) runs the ball during a high school football game against Ponte Vedra at Ponte Vedra High School in Ponte Vedra, Fla., on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.
Tuesday, the Florida High School Athletic Association released its second playoff points averages for the season. If the season were to end today, St. Augustine, Bartram Trail, Menendez and Ponte Vedra would be advancing to the postseason; however, there is a lot of football to be played.
St. Joseph’s win over St. Johns Country Day has helped the Flashes vault three places in Region 2-2A. The Flashes are scheduled to host Tallahassee St. John Paul II (4-1) on Friday night. A win over the Panthers would be the type of victory that will help Brannon Tidwell’s team close the five point gap between themselves and Lecanto Seven Rivers Christian.
St. Joseph has not announced whether it will make up its contest against Gainesville Oak Hall yet, but the Flashes are leaning toward getting it on the schedule. Should the Flashes (2-2) face the Eagles (5-1) the winner would have a compelling resume.
Region 2-2A Top 10
1. Victory Christian 42.2 (1)
2. Gainesville St. Francis 39.0 (3)
3. Zephryhills Christian 37.0 (2)
4. Lecanto Seven Rivers Christian 35.14 (6)
5. Gainesville Oak Hall 34.0 (5)
6. Winter Garden Foundation Academy 33.8 (4)
T7. Daytona Beach Halifax Academy 30 (T7)
T7. St. Joseph 30 (10)
9. South Daytona Warner Christian (T7)
10. Orlando Agape Christian 26.8 (9)
Tuesday, the Florida High School Athletic Association upheld its ruling that Trinity Christian used an ineligible player in its win over Bolles last month. The result means Trinity Christian is officially 4-3 and 1-1 in District 4-5A. Bolles is now 5-1 officially and 2-0 in district.
That result allowed Ponte Vedra to move a spot in the regional rankings, despite losing 41-0 to St. Augustine last week. The Sharks (4-2, 2-0) will host Terry Parker this week. It’s a game they should win handily.
Ponte Vedra will need to keep its eye out for what happens in Tallahassee as the three schools in District 2-5A will all likely make the playoffs. Undefeated Tallahassee Godby (6-0) will face Tallahassee Rickards (5-0) on Friday night in what will be one of the best games of the year in the Big Bend.
Ribault plays Suwanee on Tuesday night. Should the Trojans win that contest, they would be in the driver’s seat in District 3-5A. That combined with Ribault’s win over Lee and habit of finishing well down the stretch should entice the Sharks to quickly put last weeks’ result behind them.
Region 1-5A Top 10
1. Pensacola West Florida 42.50 (1)
2. Tallahassee Godby 42.0 (2)
3. Tallahassee Rickards 40.0 (3)
4. Crawfordville Wakulla 38.57 (4)
5. Bishop Kenny 38.17 (5)
6. Ponte Vedra 36.5 (7)
7. Ribault 36.17 (T10)
8. Trinity Christian 36.14 (6)
9. Bolles 35.67 (T10)
10. Lynn Haven Mosley 34.29 (8)
Menendez (3-3) is a classic example of what the new playoff system is about: winning and beating good teams. St. Augustine’s one-sided win over Ponte Vedra last week dropped the Sharks from a Category 1 win for Menendez to a Category 2 win. That explains why the Falcons had a bye week, but lost almost an entire point from its playoff calculations.
Menendez travels to (1-5) Palatka on Friday night, a field that hasn’t always been hospitable to the Falcons. A loss would be devastating. A win keeps Menendez in the driver’s seat for wildcard berths.
Falcon fans may want to keep an eye on Anclote (3-3) in District 8-5A. The Sharks four games left against teams that are a combined 2-18. Three of those are district games against Ridgewood (1-6), Gulf (0-6) and Fivay (0-5). They close the season against Wesley Chapel Cypress Creek, who is 1-5.
Region 2-5A Top 10
1. Hernando 39.50 (2)
2. Baker County 38.17 (1)
3. Anclote 37.33 (T3)
4. Menendez 36.33 (4)
T5. Wesley Chapel 36.0 (T3)
T5. Zephryhills 36.0 (7)
7. Ridgeview 35.43 (8)
T8. Clay 34.83 (T9)
T8. Belleview 34.83 (T9)
10. River Ridge 34.67 (11)
St. Augustine (5-0) has posted consecutive shutouts and has not allowed a point in its last 99:51 of football. The Yellow Jackets travel to Jacksonville to face an Ed White squad that was throttled by Nease last week.
St. Augustine’s lead is so large the Yellow Jackets can afford a loss — to anyone except Nease — and be the top seed in next month’s playoffs.
As for the Panthers (3-3) they may need help to advancing into the postseason. While it’s true the panhandle teams cannibalize themselves, the Panthers have four games to climb ahead of Fort Walton Beach, Cantonment Tate, Navarre and others.
Tate (4-1) and Escambia (3-2) play on Friday night with the winner in good shape to win the District 1 title. Another game Panther fans should keep an eye on is undefeated Crestview’s contest against Fort Walton Beach this week. A Crestview win would likely allow Nease to leap frog Fort Walton Beach.
Region 1-6A Top 10
1. St. Augustine 45.40 (1)
2. Crestview 40.40 (2)
3. Niceville 39.33 (3)
4. Pensacola Escambia 36.67 (8)
5. Pensacola Pine Forest 36.40 (5)
6. Navarre 36.17 (4)
7. Cantonment Tate 35.20 (6)
T8. Gulf Breeze 34.83 (9)
T8. Fort Walton Beach 34.83 (7)
10. Nease 34.0 (T10)
Bartram Trail’s difficult schedule was built for games like this. If the Bears beat Fleming Island (6-0) on Friday night, they be in the driver’s seat in District 3-7A. A loss means the Bears (4-2) will have to look over their shoulder at teams like Columbia, Orlando Edgewater and East Ridge.
Ribault pulled off one of the surprises of the season in knocking off Lee last week.
The Generals’ loss knocked them from the No. 1 spot in the region, but they are still in line to win the District 2 title — and claim the home playoff game with it. That means Lake City Columbia is lurking for the least-impressive district winner. If the season ended today that would be Tallahassee Lincoln.
Columbia (4-2) will be a team to watch because the Tigers have Atlantic Coast, Fletcher, First Coast and Bolles to end the season. Fletcher and Bolles will be big ones from a points perspective. Columbia is hurt by Tuesday’s Trinity Christian verdict because the victory over the Conquerors is now a Category 3 win rather than a Category 2 win.
Lincoln (2-4) will clinch its 19th straight district title on Friday when it faces, and eventually defeats winless Tallahassee Leon. The Trojans haven’t lost to Leon in 19 years and there is absolutely no way, they will let the winless Lions beat them this week. Ponte Vedra fans will want to keep an eye on Lincoln’s results, because Trinity Christian and Rickards — two teams who may be fighting for wildcard berths in the Class 5A playoffs — have wins over Lincoln. The more successful Lincoln is down the stretch, the more points Trinity Christian and Rickards will earn.
1. Fleming Island 41.17 (2)
2. Lake City Columbia 40.50 (3)
3. Lee 39.50 (1)
4. Bartram Trail 38.67 (4)
5. Orlando East Ridge 38.17 (8)
6. Orlando Edgewater 37.33 (5)
7. Gainesville Buchholz 36.67 (6)
T8. Tallahassee Lincoln 34.67 (7)
T8. Fletcher 34.67 (9)
10. Tallahassee Chiles 34.17 (11)
12. Creekside 31.83 (16)