After the first week of district play, the prep football season has only gotten more interesting and unpredictable.
Likewise with the #BeatBrian competition, each week seems to get more exciting.
This week, Escambia faces Navarre in a rematch of last year’s Region 1-6A playoff game.
Also, Pace will host Tate as father-and-son duo Mickey and Jay Lindsey will coach their teams on opposite sidelines.
And Catholic will travel to West Florida — though the game is no longer a district match, the rivalry still exists.
This week, we’ll choose from a total of seven games, with all seven at home in the area.
Pensacola High, Pine Forest and Washington all hold bye weeks.
Now let’s get down to picking:
Escambia at Navarre: Yet another huge area game. The run game should be on point for both teams (Navarre 311 rush ypg; Escambia 249 rush ypg). To make things tougher, both teams carry fast and aggressive defenses. I think Navarre’s home field advantage and unbeaten record is too much to ignore.
Navarre over Escambia
Tate at Pace: What a special moment this game should create. Tate carries an experience-loaded team, with a balanced offense. They’ll have to take good care of the football, as a youthful Patriots squad is sure to bring the physicality. Sure, Mickey Lindsey may have taught Jay Lindsey a great deal about coaching, but I think Jay’s team will come out on top.
Tate over Pace
Catholic at West Florida: No longer in the same district, Catholic sits at the top of 1-3A while West Florida resides at the bottom of 1-5A. Last week was great for both teams, Catholic earned a key district win while West Florida allowed its banged-up roster to recover during a bye week. I’m gonna lean towards West Florida’s rest and preparation as opposed to Catholic’s current momentum.
West Florida over Catholic
Cottondale at Jay: If you look at the match-up from last year, this one is a no-brainer. Jay scored 64 points in a huge win over Cottondale. However, Cottondale has more returning players and I believe has played better than Jay this year. Jay will have to start fast and finish strong to get its first win of the season.
Cottondale over Jay
Liberty County at Northview: The Liberty County Bulldogs make the trip in to town to face the one-win Chiefs. Northview has shown the ability to score often, but has struggled to contain opposing offenses. The Chiefs might have their hands full in pursuit of win No. 2.
Liberty County over Northview
Gulf Breeze at Walton: Last week in #BeatBrian, Gulf Breeze stunned Milton and the majority of the #BeatBrian competition win a win over the Panthers. But a key injury to Dolphins QB Tyler Phelps may set the team back. Walton holds an undefeated record, and has shown program growth under head coach and former University of Florida assistant coach Jimmy Ray Stephens.
Walton over Gulf Breeze
Crestview at Milton: The Panthers may be the hungriest team in the area after having their homecoming spoiled last week vs. Gulf Breeze. They’ll face Crestview, who handled other District 2-6A team Pace with a 45-28 win. If Milton wants a better outcome than the Patriots, they’ll have to establish the run early and catch the Bulldogs off guard with passes from Aubrey Williams later in the contest.
Milton over Crestview