Round one of the FHSAA football playoffs is here and many teams in the area are looking to make a run to a state title.
Here are the five best games that will be played in the Northeast Florida in round one of the playoffs.
Class 8A Region 1
(7) Spruce Creek (6-3) at (2) Bartram Trail (10-0)
Bartram Trail finished the regular season a perfect 10-0 which included wins over high profile programs including Mandarin, Oakleaf, Ponte Vedra, St. Augustine and Lee.
Bartram Trail will host a Spruce Creek team in round one that won four of its final five games to get into the postseason.
Bartram Trail and Fleming Island were the only two Northeast Florida programs to go undefeated in the regular season. It will be interesting to see if that success will now translate into the postseason.
CLASS 7A Region 1
(7) Wekiva (7-3) at (2) Fleming Island (9-0)
The undefeated Golden Eagles of Fleming Island are the only local 7A program to reach the postseason. After impressive wins this season over Fletcher, Gainesville Buchholz and Creekside, plus Fleming Island’s defense not allowing more than 21 points in their last six contests, the Golden Eagles appear to be ready for a postseason run.
Wekiva started the year 5-0 before dropping three of its final five games to finish with that 7-3 mark.
Like Bartram Trail, Fleming Island is looking to remain perfect on the year and prove that their undefeated regular season in 2019 was no fluke.
Class 6A Region 1
(6) Lake City Columbia (7-3) at (3) Ponte Vedra (7-2)
In year one at Ponte Vedra High School head coach Jeff DiSandro lead the Sharks to a district title and an impressive 7-2 record which included wins over St. John’s County rivals Menendez and St. Augustine.
Lake City Columbia started the season 6-0 including big wins over Trinity Christian and Oakleaf, but the Tigers struggled down the stretch losing three of their final four games.
There is a true home field advantage at Ponte Vedra High School and the atmosphere at this one on Friday night should be electric.
(7) St. Augustine (6-4) at (2) Lee (7-3)
Two local teams will matchup in the first round of the 6A playoffs as St. Augustine will travel to the ‘Backyard’ to take on the Lee Generals.
St. Augustine enters this game winners of three of their last four games including a 42-8 blowout of rival Palatka. Lee has also won three of their last four including the overtime win over Lake City Columbia that gave the Generals a district title.
This will be the first meeting between these two programs since 2012 and a spot in the second round is on the line.
CLASS 5A Region 1
(5) Westside (8-2) at (4) Raines (5-4)
Westside was one of the surprise stories of the year with its 8-2 regular season which included wins over Baker County, Ed White and Orange Park. The loss to Parker is why the 8-2 Wolverines find themselves traveling to the ‘Graveyard’ to take on the defending 4A state champion Raines Vikings.
Raines has won back-to-back 4A state titles and now finds themselves in 5A where the competition is sure to be challenging. It has been a very up and down year for the Vikings, who lost their first two games in 2019, then rattled off five wins in a row before losing their final two games of the regular season.
Can Westside get its first playoff win in years, or will Raines begin a run to another potential state title?
(You can follow Ryan Green on Twitter @RyanGreen1010XL)