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  • Writer's pictureDREAMKINGFILMZ


Jacksonville, Florida-

The 9-4 Mandarin Mustangs defeated the 12-2 Wekiva Mustangs to continue their stampede through the 8A playoffs. The 19-7 win would be the Mustangs hardest contest of the playoffs thus far. Mandarin would have to overcome several 1st quarter mistakes as Wekiva's Norell Pollard intercepted a tipped pass on the 1st play of the game. Wekiva would fail to score off the turnover as they'd miss a 28yd FG. Mandarin would march the ball to the 1yd line on their ensuing possession but they'd fumble away the scoring opportunity. Norell Pollard would come away with the recovery. Wekiva would string together a 14 play drive but Kas Absolu would pick of Wekiva's QB Larry Preston in the back corner of the endzone to keep the game tied a 0.

In the 2nd frame, Mandarin would cash in on a Nick Harris INT as Hudson Levine kicked a 22yd FG to give them a 3-0 lead but they'd trail 7-3 at the half after Wekiva's QB Larry Preston 15yd TD strike to Jalen Williams. Mandarin would pull within a point in the 3rd frame as Levine nailed another 22yd FG after Mandarin recovered a fumble by Preston. Wekiva would lead it 7-6 late in the 3rd frame until they were hit with a roughing the punter call on 4th and 21 to give Mandarin new life. 4 plays later Alabama commit Carson Beck would step up and launch a 54yd TD strike to FIU commit Kris Mitchell to take retake the lead. The score would be 12-7 after Mandarin failed to convert the 2pt try. Wekiva would put together 2 promising drives of 8 and 10 plays but Mandarin's defense would make the key 4th down stops to force turnovers on downs on each of them.

DeMario Poppa Douglas would send Wekiva home for the winter as he collected the Mustangs' 4th turnover by picking off a Larry Preston pass and raced 55yds to the house to clinch their spot in the 8A final four dance for the 1st time in school history. Poppa would also log 3 catches for 57yds. Carson Beck would finish the contest 10 of 21 for 200yds and 1 TD. Mandarin will now host the 11-3 Riverview Sarasota Rams who defeated the 2017 state champ Dr. Phillips Panthers to punch their ticket to the final four.

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