The intensity has picked up across northwest Florida when it comes to football.

Friday saw teams take big steps towards postseason dreams.

For the Milton Panthers it was a time to get back to .500 in the district, which they did with a 30-22 win over Escambia County.

"This win was very critical," said Milton head coach Chafan Marsh. "We needed to get back to .500 in the district with the rest of the games we have on our schedule.

"We control our destiny, but we also need help from some other teams as well."

Following what was a disappointing loss two weeks ago the Panthers got things going offensively after their second tough loss of the season.

"We were better than the week before and found a way to score offensively," Marsh said. "You have to give the guys credit they came back after the loss to Pensacola and had a good week of practice.

"They deserve a lot of credit for that.

Milton got its offense going with touchdowns by Dejon Funderburk, Roy Wise, Isaiah Jones as they won a type of game they had lost on two previous occasions to Crestview and Pensacola.

Now the Panthers face another tough team in Tate, who Marsh is not taking lightly despite the Aggies 0-4 start.

"Tate always seems to play us tough no matter what their record is," Marsh said. "We are looking for another good week of practice and get ready for face them over at their place."

Milton will be traveling to Gonzales for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff as they look to improve to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in District 1-6A.

While the Panthers will be on the road, Pace will get their chance at another breed of cat Friday at Patriot Stadium.

Pace will host the Pensacola Tigers at 7:30 p.m. in what has been a critical district match-up.

The Patriots (4-1; 2-0 in District 1-6A) are coming off a 27-3 win over Washington High where the defense forced six turnovers with five of them being interceptions.

Pace put the game out of reach with 6:53 remaining in the first quarter when Stefon Hayles doves for a touchdown to give the Patriots a 10-0 lead.

"The kids hung in there," said Pace head coach Mickey Lindsey. "I am real proud of the job the kids and the coaches have done. It was a big district win."

Last season the district seemed to revolved around the Tigers and Patriots as they met on two occasions in Pensacola with the Patriots winning the Region semi-final.

"Pensacola is a heck of a football team and they are as good as it gets," Lindsey said. "They are always good on defense no matter what happens. Every year they just seem to be able to replace who they lost.

"(Pensacola) has great skill players and they will be hard to stop."

Friday's kickoff at Patriot Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m. and Pace is hoping to take advantage of the game being on their home field this year.

"You hope it is a help to play at home, but you still have to play a great game no matter what," Lindsey said. "We are going to have to play mistake free football once again if we hope to have a chance."

While Pace and Milton are in the heart of their district schedule, Jay will kickoff action in District 1-A when they travel to Northview Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

Jay (2-2) took advantage of its open week and made short work of the South Walton Seahawks 29-6.

The Royals took an early 3-0 lead on a Dakota Smith field goal and then iced the game when Ricky Cofield turned what some thought would be a safety into a 97-yard touchdown run to make it 10-0 by the end of the first quarter.

Last week the Northview Chiefs lost to Gulf Breeze 44-20.

District 1 6-A
Team Overall District
Pace 4-1 2-0
Pensacola 2-1 1-0
Milton 3-2 1-1
Pine Forest 2-2 1-1
Escambia 2-3 1-1
Washington 1-3 0-1
Tate 0-4 0-2

District 2 6-A
Navarre 4-1 1-0
Ft. Walton 4-1 1-0
Choctaw 2-3 1-0
Crestview 2-3 0-0
Mosley 3-2 0-1
Niceville 2-3 0-2

District 1 5-A
West Florida 5-0 1-0
Gulf Breeze 3-1 1-0
Rutherford 1-4 0-0
Bay 2-2 0-1
Arnold 1-3 0-1

District 1 1-A
Baker 3-2 0-0
Northview 3-2 0-0
Jay 2-2 0-0
Freeport 2-3 0-0

Week 5 Scores
Pace 27, Washington 3
Milton 30, Escambia 22
Jay 29, South Walton 6
Gulf Breeze 44, Northview 20
Navarre 26, Catholic 0
Bozeman 32, Baker 21
Pine Forest 39, Tate 0
Choctaw 31, Niceville 28
Godby 49, Crestview 14
Fort Walton Beach 37, Rutherford 18
Mosley 28, Bay 14
West Florida 34, Alma Bryant 21
Freeport 27, Graceville 7

Local games of interest Week 6
Pensacola at Pace, 7:30 p.m.
Milton at Tate, 7:30 p.m.
Choctaw at Navarre, 7:30 p.m.
Gulf Breeze at West Florida, 7 p.m.
Jay at Northview, 7 p.m.
Freeport at Baker, 7 p.m.
Escambia at Washington, 7 p.m.
Fort Walton Beach at Crestview, 7 p.m.
Niceville at Mosley, 7 p.m.