Week 8 high school football previews



Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Records: Tallahassee St. John Paul II 4-1; St. Joseph 2-2

Last year: St. Joseph 34, St. John Paul II 13

Last game: St. John Paul II lost to Monticello Jefferson County 32-6 on Oct. 2; St. Joseph defeated St. Johns Country Day 42-0 last week.

Players to watch: John Paul — QB Brian Woodend passed for a combined 558 yards and 9 touchdowns in wins over Aucilla Christian and Rocky Bayou Christian, but he was held to 85 yards by Jefferson County. St. Joseph — QB Dylan Thibault threw two touchdown passes (60 yards to James Drysdale and 77 yards to Carter Hinman) and ran for three scores last week. The junior passed for a season-high 271 and ran for 85 in the shutout. He has completed 68 percent of his passes on the season for 815 yards with eight TDs and three interceptions.

Game info: The Flashes beat the Panthers 10-0 in the North Florida Football Conference championship game in 2015 to complete an undefeated season. St. Joseph also beat John Paul 10-7 in the regular season that year — the last time the Panthers traveled to St. Augustine. The Panthers also advanced to the conference championship last season, losing to Gainesville Oak Hall. The Flashes have won two in a row.



Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Radio: 102.1 FM (WFOY)

Records: Menendez 3-3, 0-2 in District 5-5A; Palatka 1-5, 0-2.

Last year: Menendez 31, Palatka 29

Last game: Menendez lost to Clay 60-49 on Sept. 29; Palatka lost to Baker County 48-13 on Sept. 29.

Players to watch: Menendez — Darian Oxendine has produced 1,102 yards rushing and passing. He has five rushing TDs and five passing TDs. The junior tallied 297 yards of total offense against Clay. Palatka — Charmar Dumas missed three games with a knee injury. In the four games he has played, he passed for 502 yards and six TDs and rushed for 175 yards and a score.

Game info: The Falcons host a big game next week against surprising Ridgeview, one of three teams in the District 5-5A with 2-0 district records. Menendez is currently ranked second in the district to Baker County and fourth in the region in playoff points, so a win over 6-1 Ridgeview would go a long way in helping the Falcons secure a playoff spot. But it could be moot if they lose to Palatka, a team that is always tough at home and now has both Dumas and RB Markell Rasher (269 yards rushing in two games) back from injury. Menendez has struggled defensively but has one of the most dangerous offenses in Northeast Florida, averaging 306.3 yards per game.



Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Records: Parker 2-6, 0-2 in District 4-5A; Ponte Vedra 4-2, 2-0

Live stream: facebook.com/sharks-football

Last year: Ponte Vedra 33, Parker 14

Last week: Ponte Vedra lost to St. Augustine 41-0; Parker defeated Jackson 39-14.

Players to watch: Parker — Cameron Sapp has passed for 798 yards and seven touchdowns with five interceptions. Ponte Vedra — Tommy Zitiello had seven tackles and caused a fumble last week.

Game info: The Sharks play their final regular-season home game tonight. They go on the road to play perhaps their most important games of the season in the next two weeks against district foes Trinity Christian and Bolles. Ponte Vedra leading receiver Jarrett Stepp suffered a concussion early in the St. Augustine game last week. Before that game, the most points the Sharks had allowed all season was 22 to Bishop Kenny.



Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Radio: 96.5 FM (WAOC)

Records: St. Augustine 5-0, 1-0 in District 4-6A; White 3-3, 1-1.

Last year: St. Augustine 45, White 6

Last week: St. Augustine defeated Ponte Vedra 41-0; White lost to Nease 42-14

Players to watch: St. Augustine — WR Karim Brown has been lights out with 21 catches for 509 yards and eight touchdowns — all in three games. He caught seven passes for 170 yards and three TDs at Ponte Vedra last week. White — Caleb Steward (584) and Isaiah Flowers (346) have combined to rush for 930 yards, but Nease held the duo to a total of 63 yards on 17 carries last week.

Game info: St. Augustine is averaging 469.2 yards on offense. The Yellow Jackets have passed for 1,255 yards and rushed for 1,091 yards in five games. QB Austin Reed has 13 touchdown passes and two interceptions. The Jackets threw just two passes after halftime last week after Brown staked them to a 21-0 first-half lead with his three TD receptions. On defense, the Jackets are averaging 212.8 yards and have shut out their past two opponents.



Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.

Records: Bartram Trail 4-2, 2-0 in District 3-7A; Fleming Island 6-0, 2-0

Last year: Bartram Trail 10, Fleming Island 0

Last game: Bartram Trail beat Oakleaf 48-14 last week; Fleming Island beat Oakleaf 13-7 on Sept. 29.

Players to watch: Bartram Trail — RB Devin Ellison has rushed for 678 yards with 9.3 yards per carry and has scored 10 touchdowns. Fleming Island — Jackson Bull has 42 total tackles, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions.

Game info: This game will likely decide the district champion and accompanying playoff berth. Bartram Trail has not won a district championship since 2007, but the Bears have missed the playoffs just twice during that span. Bartram Trail leads Northeast Florida in offense with 497.7 yards per game, while Fleming Island’s defense is allowing just 178.0 yards. Only one team (Ridgeview) has scored more than seven points against the Golden Eagles this season. St. Augustine is the only team to hold Bartram below 35 points. The Bears’ losses have been by a touchdown or less to two teams (Cartersville, Ga., and St. Augusutine) who enter the week with a combined 12-0 record.



Kickoff: 7 p.m.

Records: Nease 3-3, 1-0; Middleburg 0-6, 0-1.

Radio: 103,9 FM (WSOS)

Last year: Middleburg 20, Nease 6

Last week: Middleburg lost to Ridgeview 52-21; Nease defeated White 42-14.

Players to watch: Nease — Jareem Westcott rushed for 202 yards and touchdown on 26 carries last week and has 852 yards and nine TDs on the season. Middleburg — Malik Ally has 22 catches for 373 yards and eight touchdowns.

Game info: Middleburg averages just 188 yards per game on offense. Garrett Blanchett has passed for 633 yards and eight touchdowns — all to Ally — but he has also thrown six interceptions. Nease is coming off perhaps its most complete game of the season. QB Preston Staples had his best game with 222 yards passing and four touchdowns. Ashton Wood caught three TD passes. About the only negative in the game for the Panthers was allowing Isaiah Flowers to score on a 93-yard kickoff return. A win by the Panthers over the winless Broncos would set up a showdown next week with St. Augustine with the district title on the line.