Mandarin Mustangs get rousing send-off to state title game

Team headed to first championship game in school history

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Mandarin Mustangs are Orlando bound Friday afternoon to play in their first state championship game. 

The team will play Miami Columbus for the 8A football championship at 8 p.m. Saturday. It's the Mustangs first trip to a state title game.

Before classes Friday, the school held a pep rally in the courtyard as students arrived for the day. The band and cheerleaders performed to get everyone fired up for the big game. 

“It’s an amazing feeling. Since freshman year, you’ve been wishing for this because we had a team that went 12-1," said Brian Maxwell, senior offensive left tackle. "That’s just an amazing team to be on, and next thing you know, we’re that team going out there 10-4 right now to hopefully win the state championship."

Last year, Mandarin went 2-8. This year, they added one of the top quarterbacks in the city, Carson Beck. As the season went on, the team had a turning-point game in October when they beat Apopka. Since that game, the Mustangs' only loss came in overtime to Fletcher. 

The team will leave the school at 2 p.m. The game is at 8 p.m. Saturday.

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