NO. 3 MAINLAND (DAYTONA BEACH) (11-3) VS. NO. 1 LAKE WALES (14-0)
WHAT: FHSAA Class 3S State Championship
WHEN: Friday, 1 p.m. ET
WHERE: DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale
TICKET INFO: Ticketmaster ($14 per game advance purchase & $17 day of)
PARKING: Available via ParkMobile App ($24 per vehicle)
CLEAR BAG POLICY: A clear bag policy is in effect for spectators. Click here for more.
INTERNET STREAM: Spectrum Cable ($9.95 fee per game)
COACH: Travis Roland, 2nd year (16-8 at Mainland, 44-20 overall at Mainland and Flagler Palm Coast)
ROAD TO FORT LAUDERDALE: d. Eau Gallie (Melbourne), 28-14 (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Rockledge, 16-14 (Regional Semifinals); d. Jensen Beach, 45-10 (Regional Finals); d. Dunbar (Fort Myers), 30-23
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Mainland is 1-0 in state championship games. They won their lone state championship in 2003.
KEY PLAYERS: QB Demarcus Creecy, Sr. (232-of-334, 3,169 yds, 31 TDs, 10 INTs; 73 car, 513 yds, 2 TDs); WR Ajai Harrell (72 rec, 1,147 yds, 14 TDs); WR James Randel Jr, Jr. (57 rec, 1,035 yds, 11 TDs); WR Clarence McCloud, Jr. (49 rec, 476 yds, 3 TDs); ILB Ty Richmond (86 tackles, 28 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 PBU, 1 FR, 3 FF); OLB Myron Shafer, So. (75 tackles, 22 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 PBU); DT/DE Ramon McCollough, Jr. (53 tackles, 25 TFL, 6 TFL, 1 FR, 1 FF); OG Christian Hudson, So.; OL Malcolm Curry, Sr.; Zavier Mincey (30 tackles, 2 TFL, 2 INTs, 8 PBUs, 1 FR, 2 FF, 1 blocked kick)
SCORING AVERAGES: Points For: 31.2 ppg; Points Against: 17.2 ppg
FLORIDAHSFOOTBALL.COM INTERVIEW WITH COACH ROLAND
ABOUT LAKE WALES
COACH: Tavaris Johnson, 8th year (69-28 at Lake Wales)
ROAD TO FORT LAUDERDALE: d. Auburndale, 34-10 (Regional Quarterfinals); d. Vanguard (Ocala), 40-0 (Regional Semifinals); d. Zephyrhills, 26-9 (Regional Semifinals); d. Columbia (Lake City), 37-7 (State Semifinals)
STATE CHAMPIONSHIP HISTORY: Lake Wales is 0-2 in state championship games. They were state runners-up in 1993, and 1994.
KEY PLAYERS: FS/ATH Jaremiah Anglin Jr. (54 tackles, 2 TFL, 8 INTs, 20 PBUs, 1 FR, 5 FF; 390 AP yds; 17 rec, 274 yds, 3 TDs, Kentucky commit); ATH Xavier Marlow, Sr. (34 rec, 507 yds, 10 TDs; 45 car, 448 yds, 4 TDs; 42 tackles, 1 TFL, 6 INTs, 5 PBUs); ATH Carlos Mitchell, Jr., (76 tackles, 9 TFL, 1 sack, 7 INTs, 17 PBUs, 1 FF; 25 rec, 659 yds, 11 TDs, Division I FBS prospect); RB/SS Corey Harris Jr., Sr. (95 car, 1,095 yds, 10 TDs; 76 tackles, 9 TFL, 3 sacks, 3 QB hurries; 1 INT, 1 PBU, 1 FR, 3 FF); MLB Sean Major, Sr. (170 tackles, 58 TFL, 10 sacks, 11 QB hurries, 1 FR, 4 FF, Webber International commit); OLB Johnquae Richardson, Jr. (167 tackles, 47 TFL, 10 sacks, 2 INTs; 1 PBU, 1 FR, 3 FF); QB Trent Grotjan, Sr. (108-of-182, 1,993, 26 TDs, 8 INTs; 50 car, 288 yds, 3 TDs); WR Diyantae Landrum, Sr. (28 rec, 557 yds, 6 TDs); DE/OLB Terrell James, Sr. (101 tackles, 49 TFL, 22 sacks, 16 QB hurries, 2 PBUs, 2 FR, 2 FF); DT/DE Tavoris Jones, Sr. (74 tackles, 31 TFL, 11 sacks, 5 QB hurries, 1 PBU, 2 FR, 1 FF)
SCORING AVERAGES: Points For: 42.4 ppg; Points Against: 4.8 ppg
This is a very intriguing matchup and one that could draw a very huge crowd for a 1 p.m. kickoff on a Friday afternoon that is hundreds of miles away from either school’s campus. As a matter of fact, fan charter buses from both schools will be coming along with student activity buses as well. Lake Wales even went as far as to close all their schools down for Friday so everyone could be at the game on Friday afternoon. This is how serious this state championship game is. The Mainland Buccaneers have not played in a state championship game in 19 years and for Lake Wales, it has been 28 years since they last played in a state championship game. So this is very a long stretch of time for two teams that have been regarded as part of the names among Florida’s best programs. Now looking at the teams themselves here there is a lot of talent that is going to be all over the field, but when looking at both teams there are some considerable things to keep in mind. Both teams have strong offenses, especially Mainland’s with Creecy who has been lights out along with two 1,000-yard receivers in Harrell and Randel. The story changes here quickly as the Highlanders’ defense has been one of the top defenses in the entire state regardless of classification, and looking at things here for the Highlanders, this could be problematic for the Buccaneers as the Highlanders combined as a team have 33 interceptions on the season along with 103 sacks. That is a dangerous combination and Mainland will have to do everything to protect the football at all costs if they want to win their second state championship in school history or it could be Lake Wales finally hosting that trophy, something that the Highlanders were not able to do under Rod Shafer in 1993 and 1994.
Lake Wales 42, Mainland 20