With Cypress Bay and Miramar still ahead on the schedule, Western needed a win Friday night to have any realistic hope of making the playoffs.
Good thing Everglades was in a giving mood.
The host Wildcats took advantage of four first-half turnovers and got a pair of rushing touchdowns from quarterback Wade Freebeck in the third quarter to beat Everglades 34-13 in a key District 12-8A contest.
Thanks to the Everglades miscues, Western (3-0, 1-0 12-8A) took a 14-0 lead into halftime off a pair of scoring runs by Brayon Parrish.
Everglades (3-1, 0-1) was completely undone by its miscues in the opening half. The Gators outgained Western 164-92 in the first 24 minutes yet had nothing to show for it.
All told, Everglades turned the ball over six times and was flagged 15 times for 140 yards. The Gators outgained Western 368-190.
• Cypress Bay 28, Flanagan 10: You would’ve never known the by the look on coach Mark Guandolo’s face that his Cypress Bay Lightning had just walked off the field a winner over Flanagan at Flanagan High in a District 11-8A opener for both teams.
Well known in his drive for perfection, Guandolo watched as his team struggled all night with fumbles, penalties and overall lackluster play but still managed to hold off a determined Falcons team and a hot quarterback in Ryan Stanley.
“Amazing that you could come out in your first district game of the year and be so flat and listless,” said Guandolo, who watched his team fall behind 7-0 after the first quarter. “Obviously, we’re going to need to get things cleaned up quickly with us traveling to Miramar next week because we won’t get away with what we got away with [Friday night].”
The Lightning (3-1, 1-0), thanks to a big night from running back Matt Dayes (145 yards on 20 carries), rallied for three touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 21-7 halftime lead and didn’t put things away until an early fourth quarter touchdown on quarterback Jaranta Lewis’ 1-yard sneak.
Stanley had a huge night, as he led a Flanagan aerial assault that saw him complete 25-of-48 passes for 295 yards, with 11 of those completions going to Dylan Malson for 122 yards. But two turnovers in the red zone hurt the Falcons (2-2, 0-1) and kept them from tightening the score in the third quarter.
• University School-Treasure Coat (canceled): After being swamped with heavy rains and lightning, officials decided to cancel Friday night’s high school football game between University School and Treasure Coast High School.
Threatening skies in the St. Lucie area began to show during the pregame but were not severe enough to delay the game’s 7 p.m. start. Before weather moved in, University struck first after linebacker Kaylan Striggles recovered a fumble from Treasure Coast punt returner Chris Mcallister to score the game’s first touchdown.
The persistent storm was too much though, and officials chose to cancel the game shortly after 8:15 p.m. The game will not be made up.
• Blanche Ely 55, Coconut Creek 6: The visiting Tigers (3-1, 1-0) cruised into halftime at Don Conkel Stadium with a 49-6 lead behind Nelson Ervin’s four first-half touchdown passes, including a 20-yard strike to Devonte Peete as the clock ran out on the first half.