The #3 Dr. Phillips Panthers are headed back to the FHSAA Class 8A State Finals in Orlando for the second-straight season.
The Panthers took control early and dominated all facets of the game as they took down the #2 Wekiva Mustangs 28-7 in front of a packed house at Baptiste Orthodontics Stadium.
Dr. Phillips (12-2) will be making their 3rd overall appearance in the State Finals as they were there in 2010 and 2016. They will be seeking their first-ever state title Saturday night at Camping World Stadium against Delray Beach Atlantic. The Panthers lost a heartbreaker to Miami Southridge 14-10 last season in the 8A final.
The Panthers jumped out to an early lead against Wekiva as they scored on the first play from scrimmage when sophomore running back Brandon Fields scored on a 73 yard touchdown run. Panthers' senior quarterback BeSean McCray also scored on a long TD run as he scored from 72 yards out to make the score 14-0.
Dr. Phillips, who had only 5 interceptions in their previous 13 games this season, picked off Mustangs senior quarterback Brandon Williams 4 times.
Panthers junior cornerback Bryan Bell-Anderson had two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown.
Rich Bedesem's stingy Wekiva defense gave up 322 total yards on the night.
Wekiva ends their historic playoff run with a 12-2 record.