FHSAA Second Round Playoff Previews for Volusia-Flagler-St. Jeans

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At least one local high school football team will survive to see Thanksgiving and regional championship weekend.

It’s a guarantee because, for the first time, Bartram Trail and Creekside meet in the playoffs. If the top-ranked Bears win, they will host the 1-4S Region Finals; if Creekside wins, he’ll take the road to Gainesville or Niceville.

But two Daytona Beach teams — Mainland and Father Lopez — also have a shot at advancing to the all-important third round. They will need to eliminate the #1 seeds on the road to advance.

Here are previews of the three regional semi-finals involving Volusia-Flagler-St. Johns Schools and predictions from editors Chris Boyle, Myer Lee and Chris Vinel.

Father Lopez (6-4) at Trinity Catholic (6-2), 7 p.m. Friday

Class 1S contenders got a week off – with just four teams per region earning the right to fight in the playoffs. Father Lopez sailed, as expected, in his last two games against Halifax and Taylor to earn a ticket. The Green Wave is 4-1 this fall when sophomore workaholic Jackson Oldham exceeds 100 yards on the ground. Defensively, the team was credited with 60.5 sacks, led by second lineman Antonio Wilson at 12.5. Trinity Catholic closed the regular season on a four-game winning streak, including a 26-21 victory over Ponte Vedra on October 14. Beau Bears is the centerpiece of the Celtics offense, averaging 120.5 rushing yards per game with 15 total touchdowns.

Choice – Boyle: Trinity Catholic 49-6, Lee: Father Lopez 20-17, Vinel: Trinity Catholic 38-12.

Creekside (9-2) at Bartram Trail (11-0), 7:30 p.m. Friday

Bartram Trail has won 14 of 15 all-time meetings between these schools separated by less than 6 miles on Longleaf Pine Parkway, including a 59-27 runaway last month. In that game, the Bears scored on each of their first nine offensive possessions and totaled nearly 600 yards. Creekside quickly took control of its round trip to Navarre as sophomore quarterback Sean Ashenfelder scored four touchdowns in his first college start, a 47-20 victory. Meanwhile, Bartram Trail dug a 14-0 first hole and pounded Flagler Palm Coast in the second half with 50 unanswered points.

Choice – Boyle: Bartram Trail 34-23, Lee: Creekside 38-35, Vinel: Bartram Trail 42-27.

Mainland (8-3) at Rockledge (9-2), 7 p.m. Saturday

The two on-paper favorites from the 3-3S region will face off a round earlier than scheduled as fourth seed Mainland visits top seed Rockledge. Mainland suffered a barrage of penalty flags and a 50-minute delay caused by a blown transformer at rally past Eau Gallie 28-14 In Monday. Damarcus Creecy threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Bucs ruled out an explosive Commodores offense after the power outage. Rockledge survived an unlikely scare from Satellite to win 13-12. The Raiders rushed for 187.5 yards per game during the regular season with 26 touchdowns and held eight opponents to seven points or less.

Choice – Boyle: Continent 21-16, Lee: Continent 24-20, Vinel: Continent 28-24.


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