Friday Night Preview:

Dr. Phillips Panthers (1-2) vs. Apopka Blue Darters (2-1)

#1 Wekiva Mustangs (3-0) – bye week

 DP vs. Apopka. It’s the definition of a high school football classic.

Two of the strongest high school football programs in Central Florida that have won three state championships in the last six seasons, and have played in six of the last eight state finals.

And the games have often looked like a state championship preview.

In the past three seasons, the Blue Darters defeated the Panthers 22-20, 15-14, and 21-14, but all were in one-possession games that came down to the final nail-biting drive.

The 2018 version will be the first in the recent series that neither team is ranked in the state top 10 poll, with the Panthers stumbling out of the gates with a 1-2 record including a 31-28 loss last week to West Orange. The Blue Darters suffered its first loss of the season last week to the Lakeland Dreadnaughts 37-20 and fell out of the poll after being ranked #4.

The Dreadnaughts scored on a 78-yard kickoff return and blocked a punt in the first half to defeat the Apopka Blue Darters for the second straight season. Lakeland (3-0) held the Blue Darters’ rushing game to only 151 yards after coming off a school record 615 yards in a 33-28 win over Bartram Trail the previous week. It was the first game Apopka played without its leading rusher Jecoryan Davis-Hamilton who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and a medial collateral ligament.

The Wekiva Mustangs, 3-0 on the season and ranked #1 in the state 8A poll after a come-from-behind 25-22 victory over Winter Park, are not in action this week, but return home next Friday to play the Olympia Titans, who are 0-3 on the season.

Kickoff in the DP vs. Apopka game is tonight at 7PM at Roger Williams Field on the campus of Apopka High School. Admission is $6.

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