11-2 Dr. Phillips travels to Wekiva for a final four matchup
The classic example of a “Cinderella Story” or a “Fairytale Season” typically involves a team of lesser talent winning games against stronger teams by last-second heroics and come-from-behind miracle stories. Certainly, the Wekiva Mustangs have been described in this manner, but does the glass slipper really fit?
The Mustangs used a strangling defense and a second-half scoring spree to overwhelm the #1 seeded Winter Park Wildcats 33-6 to win the 8-A Region 1 final and advance to the state semifinals for the first time in the school’s history. The win gave the Mustangs a 12-1 record and evened the score with Winter Park, who earlier in the season beat them 10-6.
But here’s the thing… the Wildcats came into the game undefeated, ranked first in the region, and had an air of inevitably after a come-from-behind 34-27 win against Apopka the week before.
That inevitable air shifted, however, when Wekiva rolled them up on their home field.
The Mustangs simply looked bigger, stronger, and faster – particularly on defense where they overwhelmed the Wildcats, who never came close to sustaining a drive, and only scored on a breakaway 65-yard-touchdown in the third quarter.
The victory put to rest a winning streak Winter Park held over Wekiva that both knocked them out of the playoffs in 2016, and was their only loss this year.
Now Wekiva heads home where another heavyweight awaits them in the state semifinals – the Dr. Phillips Panthers. Wekiva beat the Panthers 14-0 in October, which was its first victory over them in the school’s history. Dr. Phillips leads the overall series 4-1.
The Panthers are 11-2 on the season, but after successive losses to Wekiva, and Apopka in the span of four days, have run-off seven straight victories, won their district, and made it to the state semifinals for the second straight season.
The Mustangs are on a 10-game winning streak, also won their district, and are in the state’s 8A final four for the very first time.
The winner of this game will play either Miami High (11-1) or Delray Beach Atlantic (11-1) in 8A state final at Orlando’s Camping World Stadium next week.
Kickoff for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:30 at the Baptiste Orthodontics Stadium on the campus of Wekiva High School. Admission is $9.