Don’t blink, there’s just two more chances to win a #BeatBrian T-shirt this year.
And this week, we are in for the most exciting Friday of the season.
By the time the clocks expire, the playoff picture will be painted for each district in the News Journal area.
There’s two district championships on the line Friday night, as the Navarre Raiders (8-0) — who have won 20 straight regular season games — host Gulf Breeze (7-1), while Northview seeks to end a three-year reign in District 1-1A by Baker.
Over in 1-6A, the ESPN Pensacola/PNJ game of the week is at Pine Forest, as the Eagles host Tate in a must-win game.
The winner will hit the road in the first round of the playoffs as 1-6A runner up, while the loser will watch the playoffs from beyond the sidelines.
All in all, we’re choosing from six games this week with five inside the PNJ area.
Also, apologies to James Scapin and Kurt Martin, who both showed perfect-pick Fridays in Week 9, but were overlooked while tallying results.
#BeatBrian results will be printed in Tuesday’s Pensacola News Journal and will post Monday night at PNJ.com/sports.
Now, let’s get down to picking.
Northview at Baker: Since 2013, the Baker Gators have owned District 1-1A, but don’t expect the Chiefs to show a lack of confidence. The Chiefs are on a three-game win streak, but topping the undefeated, defending district champs is a tall order.
Baker over Northview
West Florida at Pensacola High: Is there any defense around that is more fierce than West Florida’s? Some may come close, but the Jaguars hold arguably the area’s best defense and have lit up the scoreboard in two of their last three games. West Florida has sealed a district title and Pensacola High is out of the playoff hunt. Will the Jaguars rest some starters Friday night?
West Florida over Pensacola High
Gulf Breeze at Navarre: Sheesh … this isn’t your average “Publix Beach Bowl Cup” as this year’s meeting is likely the most significant of the tradition. The Dolphins hold one loss, and put up more than 420 yards-per-game. Navarre just dropped 70 points last Friday in their 20th-straight regular season win. Don’t sleep on either team’s opportunistic defense, but the scoreboard operator could be quite busy at Navarre Friday night.
Navarre over Gulf Breeze
Tate at Pine Forest: Gimme’ a break! Another extremely tough pick. Tate gets the edge in consistency and special teams, while I’ll take Pine Forest when it comes to athleticism and big-game experience. It’s win or watch the playoffs from home in this one, so there is no room for error or lack of effort. Tate will have to travel to the Eagles nest, but their supporters should show strong representation.
Pine Forest over Tate
Escambia at Washington: Like the scenario with West Florida and PHS, the Gators have locked up a No.1 seed and Washington has been eliminated from a playoff berth. How hard will the Gators go and how much will they show? The Wildcats may want this win more, but the Gators seem to be fed up with losing.
Escambia over Washington
Pace at Milton: What a thriller this one was last year as the Panthers drilled a time-expiring field goal to top the Patriots. It’s a new look for both teams this year, but I think Pace is the smart pick for the classic “Battle for the Bronze Helmet.”
Pace over Milton