Football Preview 10/8/21

Posted 10/6/21

Fri., Oct. 8

Eastside at Clay

Episcopal at Middleburg

Ridgeview at Baker County

Fleming Island BYE

Oakleaf BYE

Orange Park BYE

Crescent City at Keystone Heights


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Football Preview 10/8/21


Fri., Oct. 8

Eastside at Clay

Episcopal at Middleburg

Ridgeview at Baker County

Fleming Island BYE

Oakleaf BYE

Orange Park BYE

Crescent City at Keystone Heights


Keystone Heights still unbeaten,

RHS and MHS with big tests

Oct. 8

Oakleaf, Orange Park, St. Johns and Fleming Island get recharge time with BYES.

Broncos defense steals game in Matanzas win

Mitchell second-best rusher in 6A; 10th in Florida

Wolfe and Broncos get 3A Episcopal (4-1, loss to Ponte Vedra in early September; win over Baldwin (3-1) last week 20-14) for good test of offensive wits. Middleburg defense is stingy and opportunistic with four interceptions against Matanzas; two for TDs.

Broncos got back-to-back pick six interceptions in first quarter last week against 1-5 Matanzas in 40-7 win; 33-7 at the half with the two pick sixes, a 50 yard pass play from Luke Padgett to Caleb Freytag who is more and more getting the ball in his hands as the season progresses, and 66 and three yard scoring runs from Mike Mitchell, ranked 10th in Florida, second in Class 6A, in rushing by Maxpreps with 914 yards (13TDs) so far; games of 201, 217, 255 and 172 with a 69 yard effort against a tough Santa Fe team. Freytag also had an 80 yard run on his first carry to set up a Mitchell score. Mitchell finished with 172 yards against Matanzas on 14 carries.

Episcopal is high-octane offense behind junior quarterback Joseph Wiesner who had 88 passes in four games; 45 complete with 513 yards and four scores, also four interceptions-hint Bronco secondary. On the ground, Episcopal has twin bashers; seniors Ershod Jasey and Kirk Reed, both over 300 yards each with 10 combined touchdowns; hint “Cowboy” and friends Donovan and Floyd.

Ridgeview (1-4) at Baker County (4-2)

Ridgeview coach Bryan Arnette had a decent showing against St. Augustine; lost 43-6, and the players are not deterred by lack of size, but back-to-back against playoff contenders with an upcoming trip to Baker County (11-3 last year, 4-2 with losses to 7A-Viera 31-22 and Mandarin 21-20, beat Bishop Kenny 35-14 last week; 21 points in first quarter, 28-6 at half) is a tough double. Baker County loves to play Clay County guys and size matters; Wildcats always big up front. Mosley and boys will be tested. Arnette surviving slew of key players injured behind Gardiner, Baptiste and Burris on offense with Nasir Tillman heading defense. Wildcat quarterback Noah Ray has nearly 600 yards in the air with four scores and two interceptions.

Baker County offense loaded with two 400-plus rushers; junior Cam Smith (5TDs) and senior Jamarian Baker (6TDs). Both also catch passes; eight and 6, respectively. Top pass catcher is senior Jaymodd Ruise with 10 passes and two scores; 19 passes last year with four TDs.

4A-Keystone Heights (6-0)

vs. 3A-Crescent City (3-2).

“Four Horsemen” in top 50 rushers in Class 4A, Hollingsworth sixth rusher in state.

Keystone Heights and Crescent City is always a dogfight and this one should be as well with the Indians having more dogs; actually the Four Horsemen (Jenkins, Sanders, Hollingsworth and Williams) to smash mouth the ball into the Crescent City Raiders defense. Hollingsworth tops the county with rush yards with 968 and 16TDs putting him sixth best in Florida; first in Class 4A just ahead of Bolles’ Kade Frew. Ironically, the second of the Four Horsemen, Kade Sanders, is sixth in 4A with 509 yards and seven scores. Logan Williams, third of Four Horsemen, is 16th in 4A at 335 Yards with three scores. The fourth of the Four Horsemen, Tyler Jenkins, is 38th with 198 yards and three scores; albeit Jenkins was first in as quarterback and primarily handed off to other three.

Crescent City opened the season with a loss, ran off three wins then lost last week to Hilliard 42-21. The Flashes bombarded the Raider defense to a 34-14 halftime lead before the game settled to a grudge defense match to the finish.

Keystone Heights defensive stamina will be tested with senior Nakeem Scott who has 624 yards rushing with 11 TDs and 552 yards passing with 6TDs and 7 interceptions. Scott is the go-go guy for Crescent City wiht senior Elijah Hernandez behind at 272 rush yards with 5TDs.

Eastside (0-5) and Clay (3-2)

Clay is readusting to life without Q looks like as the All State running back has been absent from the Blue Devil lineup for non-football actions.

That being said coach Kyle Kennard has reshuffled the deck and is getting mileage a different way as was evident in new faces scoring in win against Palatka. Nobody over 50 yards rushing; that’s not Blue Devil old football, sophomore quarterback Jayden Jenkins tops with 27 yards with a score.

In the air, Brandon Peavy emerging as the GUY to catch passes with five for 68 yards against Palatka with one touchdown. Speed-leader D’Maurion Frazier is becoming a dual weapon on offense with a 17 yard jet sweep rush and two catches for 30 yards.

David Ford caught three balls also.

Clay’s defense; spearheaded in part by Blake Thompson from his defensive end position and aided by Zach “Lumberjack” Fordham against Palatka with both picking up fumbles and both creating havoc with Fordham lead tackler with eight and five guys with seven stops; Brandon Combs, Jarvis Lee, Chris Goldstein, Errick Fryer and Dominic Martin. That’s chasing down guys.

Clay has Eastside and Menendez the next two weeks to iron out personnel changes before taking on Middleburg in a rivalry game that will be gigantic in Clay County.

Fleming Island 20, Ponte Vedra 7

Fleming Island High freshman quarterback Cibastian Broughton takes the reigns as Golden Eagles quarterback to lead team to a 20-6 district win over Ponte Vedra. The win snapped a three game win streak for Ponte Vedra.

Note: Fleming Island running back Sam Singleton has not committed to a college yet as it was inadvertently reported in the previous Clay Today Sports Pages.

Old Plank 53, St. Johns Country Day School 7

Let it be said that playing to the final whistle is a staple at St. Johns Country Day School sports; let alone football where running back George Friedline broke off a 50 yard sprint play off right tackle to score the lone touchdown for the Spartans who lost 53-7 to Old Plank on Friday.

That’s the lineup for area high school football with St. Johns Country Day School (1-6) getting a late fourth quarter 50 yard score for George Friedline in a lopsided 53-7 loss to Old Plank on Friday.

Stat-wise junior Owen Johnston leads the rush game with 161 yards (4.1 per carry and a score, while freshman quarterback Shane Reaves has 145 pass yards and one score. Freshman Corbin Scott is top pass catcher with eight snags for 145 yards (7.6 per catch) and one score. Scott has a 57 yard play as his longest.

Where coach Rocky Bantag has woes is fumbles with 11 lost thus far.

Caleb Cameron, a freshman, is top tackler wiht 38 stops with junior Jack Mooneyham at 29 and senior Josiah Johnes with 24 stops; five for losses. Cameron has 11 tackles for losses with Mooneyham catching seven ball carries behind the line of scrimmage.

New District Lineups

District 1-8A

Oakleaf (3-2, RPI ranked 36th in 8A, 175th in FL)

Mandarin (2-3, RPI ranked 52nd, 237th in 8A)

Sandalwood (2-3, RPI Ranked 61st, 261 in 8A)

Bartram Trail (4-1, RPI ranked ninth in 8A, 53 in FL)

Creekside (5-0, RPI ranked fifth 8A, 28th in FL)

2020: Oakleaf 7-4 (8A), Lost in region semifinal to Bartram Trail, won by forfeit over Nease in quarterfinal. Regular season losses to Bartram Trail, Lowndes County, Camden County.

2021: Oakleaf, always a tough schedule for Frank Garis, has Mandarin, Bartram Trail and Creekside in district play, then Fleming Island to end season.

Against Sandalwood, the return of running back Devin Outlaw was a welcomed shot in arm (or legs) for offense with a five yarder and 55-yarder scores in first half in Knights’ 28-27 win. Outlaw scored a third to tie game at 21-21 to set up dramatic finish. Outlaw again for 50 yards that set up plunge from backfield mate Michael Brannon to put 28 on the board for Knights. A missed point after kick and field goal try by Sandalwood preserved the win for Oakleaf.

District 3-7A

Fleming Island

Atlantic Coast

First Coast


Ponte Vedra


2020: Fleming Island 10-4 (7A), Lost in state semifinals to Niceville; Beat Tate, Chiles, Atlantic Coast to advance. Regular season losses to Oakleaf, Buchholz.

2021: Region 4-7A now has three teams in the top 10 of Class 7A; Doral Academy (5-0, No. 1), St. Thomas Aquinas (4-1, No. 3) and Dillard of Fort Lauderdale (5-0, No. 6). Fleming Island’s favorite playoff opponent; Niceville (5-0) is at No. 10 in 7A. Fleming Island is behind Ponte Vedra despite the 20-6 win by the Golden Eagles on Friday with the Sharks (3-3) at 32nd in 7A, 203 in FL mainly due to a tough schedule; Nease (5-1), Episcopal (4-1) and Baker County (4-2) all high-value opponents.

Fleming Island will benefit from wins over Final Four Lake Minneola plus losses to Clay and Creekside with Nease and Oakleaf two high-value teams that could get the Golden Eagles into the playoffs.

District 3-6A

Orange Park


Riverside (Lee)



2020: Orange Park 4-6 (5A). Lost in region semifinal to Menendez, beat Citrus to advance. Regular season losses to Baker County, Clay, Raines, Ridgeview, Menendez.

2021: Orange Park (2-4) blew a 34-17 third quarter lead in 44-43 loss to West Nassau mainly on fourth quarter power running by West Nassau. Raider quarterback Tavien Wilkerson withstood an Earth-shaking rib hit to stand in the brink and hit the final touchdown lob to wide receiver Nolan Chambers to cinch up the score, but the effort was too little too late.

“I don’t know how he made that throw; he just kept working, made his way through and made a great throw,” said Orange Park coach Tom Macpherson. “We were hoping to outscore them, but we couldn’t get them out of their strong running set. We have noone over 200 pounds on defense.”

Orange Park botched the onside kick (just seven yards) and West Nassau ran out the clock.

District 4-6A





St. Augustine

2020: Ridgeview 7-4 (5A), lost in region semifinal to Ocala Vanguard. Regular season losses to Clay, West Nassau, Fleming Island.

Middleburg 0-10 (6A)

District 4-5A


North Marion



Pedro Menendez

2020: Clay 11-2 (5A), Lost in region final to Ocala Vanguard. Beat Leesburg, Atlantic to advance. Regular season loss to Oakleaf.

Region 2-4A

Keystone Heights

Santa Fe

Brooksville Central

Brooksville Hernando

South Sumter


Space Coast


The Villages


2020: Keystone Heights 6-3 (4A). Lost in region round one to Bradford. Regular season losses to Union County, Bradford County.

Sunshine State Athletic Conference

SSAC 8-Man football

First Coast Division

St. Johns Country Day School

Florida Deaf and Blind

Duval Charter


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