Eagles Make Playoffs. Now What?

The Florida High School Athletic Association had worked its mathematical voodoo and determined the teams that will have a shot at immortality in the 2023 playoffs. 

The Niceville Eagles are in the state tournament, as are both teams who defeated the Maroon and White this year – The Mosley Dolphins and the Lincoln Trojans out of Tallahassee. 

RELATED: Niceville caps regular season with a win against a playoff football team

The Navarre Raiders also squeaked into the state playoffs despite losing last weekend to the Eagles. Their Santa Rosa County rivals, the Pace Patriots, were not so lucky. The playoff math didn’t work out for them, and they will watch the playoffs from home despite an 8-2 regular season record (they lost to Navarre 25-24). 

DJ Shorts makes a run around the end for big yardage as the Niceville Eagles defeat the Navarre Raiders on November 3, 2023.

The Path To The State Championship Game

The Niceville Eagles have a five-game march between them and a second state title. If they want to hoist the FHSAA Trophy at Bragg Memorial Stadium on the campus of Florida A&M in Tallahassee, they will need to start with a win over Nease High School, out of Ponte Vedra. The Panthers are the seventh seed in the first round of playoffs this year – and 7-3 record. This game is a great unknown, as neither team has played a team in common. 

The Eagles will head down to Ponte Vedra, just to the south of Jacksonville, for their first-round contest on Friday, November 10th. Should they emerge victorious after the game, which starts at 6 PM Eastern, they’ll be off to the second round of play, where they will have a second game against the Navarre Raiders or play Bartram Trail – which is located in St. John’s County on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. 

Should they continue their winning ways, they will play in these games:

  • Regional Finals 11/24 
  • Final Four Game 12/1
  • State Championship Game 12/8

Piece of cake, right?

Good luck to the Eagles – we’ll be following along with their postseason exploits. 

2023 FHSAA Football State Championships 4 S

Other Local Teams

Both Rocky Bayou Christian School (4-6), Freeport (3-7) and Destin High School (7-3) did not advance to the postseason this year.

Walton and South Walton will play each other in the first round of the 2S state playoffs. Walton County came out ahead in their first contest this year, with a 34-31 win on September 22nd. The pair will play in DeFuniak Springs for season bragging rights on November 10th. If last year’s Niceville-Crestview game taught us anything, it’s that this game could see an ugly reversal of fortunes for the Braves.

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