slated for 10 a.m.
By TONY CASTRO
At 10 a.m. Saturday. the winless Ocala-Lake Weir Hurricanes (0-2) will test the winless Hernando Leopards (0-2) at Tom Fisher Memorial Stadium.
The two teams that have not played since splitting the series in 2005-06.
In 2005 in Brooksville, Matt Smith‘s Leopards edged the Hurricanes, 35-28.
The following season, Lake Weir prevailed, 22-17.
The Marion County crew opened the season at home falling to The Villages, 42-19 and then to Ocala-Forest, 42-21.
Meanwhile, the Leopards opened the season getting steam rolled by Lakeland-Lake Gibson, 43-0, before falling at Melbourne-Eau Gallie, 13-7.
Due to Hurricane Dorian, the Marion County School District waited a little longer than some of the local counties before opening up for business.
Lake Weir senior quarterback Deiontae Simpkins paces the ‘Canes.
The 6-foot, 200-pound signal caller can sling it.
He’s completed 47-of-62 aerials for 572 yards and four touchdowns against zero interceptions.
Simpkins has also rushed for a team-leading 105 yards
Defensively, senior Keith Jordan leads the squad with 15 tackles while junior outside linebacker Corone Williams has added 12 tackles.
Second-year HHS skipper mentor Robert Kazmier says of the Hurricanes, “They’re a solid defensive unit. They’ve got average size across the board, so they‘re nothing like the Lake Gibson folks we played.”
The Hernando coaching staff has been preaching execution all week.
“That’s what it comes down to on Saturday morning,“ explained Coach Kazmier. “It’s about executing. That’s something we really haven’t done enough of.”
On the injury front, good news for the Leopards as two key two-way starters, Ja’Quan Spray and Qwenton Coney, will both suit up.
Spry missed the Eau Gallie game due while Coney was taped up and played.
Look for a revolving rotation of quarterbacks in Isaiah Brown and Maurice Holland and fullbacks.
Freshman place kicker Anthony Talpa has been promoted to the varsity squad and will see time kicking off.
On what Coach Kazmier wants to see more than anything else, “We’ve got to be mentally tougher than what we’ve been. We allowed Eau Gallie to score that last touchdown last week to win the game. That was on us. That was lack of focus.
“… Having Coney and Spry back on defense will really help. Those two haven’t played together since Lake Gibson.
“Their quarterback (Simpkins) is the real deal. He completed 22-of-25 passes against the Villages and threw for 350 against Forest. We can’t allow him to dictate the game’s tempo. We’re gonna rotate in a lot of bodies.”