The Western Wildcats defeated the Cypress Bay Lightning 35-28 in the 2023 FHSAA Football State Championships – 4 M finals on Friday, November 17th, at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
What it is: Florida High School Football Playoff
Matchup: Western Wildcats vs Cypress Bay Lightning
Game Type: 2023 FHSAA Football State Championships – 4 M
Time: Thursday Nov 9, 2023, 7:00 PM (Local Time)
Locations: Western (Davie, FL)
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The Wildcats were led by a high-powered offense that featured a number of playmakers. Senior quarterback Fernando Mendoza threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, and he had a number of talented receivers to target, including senior wideout Carlos Garcia and junior tight end Juan Martinez. The Wildcats also had a strong running game, led by senior running back Miguel Lopez, who rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
The Lightning kept things close in the first half, trailing just 14-7 at halftime. However, the Wildcats pulled away in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points to take a 35-7 lead. The Lightning scored three late touchdowns, but it was too little too late.
The Wildcats defense played well throughout the game, forcing several turnovers. Senior linebacker Pedro Rodriguez and junior safety Carlos Hernandez led the defense with over 10 tackles apiece.
The Wildcats’ victory was their first FHSAA football state championship since 2018.
The Western Wildcats will now begin preparations for their 2024 season.