Leopards: No longer winless, level Lake Weir 51-0

FOOTBALL

Seven different players

find the end zone vs. ’Canes

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

BROOKSVILLE – A week prior to the start of its district schedule, Hernando High enjoyed a breather Saturday morning.

After getting beat up by Lakeland-Lake Gibson, 43-0, and falling short end of a 13-7 road trip last weekend to Brevard County, Hernando High stood at the cross roads of unfamiliar 0-2 start.

But in the first meeting against the Hurricanes in 13 seasons, the Leopards (1-2 overall) sent Lake Weir (0-3) back home winless to Marion County thanks to an overwhelming 51-0 shutout at Tom Fisher Memorial Stadium.

This game was rescheduled for Saturday following the affects of Hurricane Dorian along the Sunshine State.

In a lopsided tilt, Hernando etched 369 yards of total offense while limiting the mistake-prone ’Canes to 49 yards of real estate in 33 snaps.

Hernando attacked in waves utilizing its 26-man roster to the fullest.

Seven different Leopards scored touchdowns against the Golden Hurricanes while three recovered fumbles.

The hosts blitzed the visitors behind a 26-0 first quarter, building a 39-0 cushion at halftime before coasting behind a running clock in the second half.

All this arriving after the Leopards began the season at 0-2, scoring just one touchdown in two weeks.

Jordan Williams

In a nearly empty Tom Fisher Stadium, the hosts needed just three snaps to tally the game’s first score on a 40-yard sprint by seldom-used sophomore Jordan Williams.

Freshman placekicker Anthony Talpa, who had been promoted to the varsity squad, had a rough day.

At 10:37 he missed the first of eight point-after boots, 6-0 Leopards.

After Lake Weir shanked a 6-yard punt, the Leopards went back to work.

Senior starting quarterback Maurice Holland ripped off a 12-yard gain setting up senior Jaquan Spry on a 52-yard dash untouched up the middle.

Jaquan Spry

At 8:28 showing, Talpa lifted his first-ever PAT through the racks, 13-0.

Four plays later, the Marion County crew was forced into a 36-yard punt.

Three snaps hence, Jordan Williams zipped off a 55-yard sprint for his second touchdown of the quarter.

Talpa buried the point-after, 20-0.

Samuel Stemberger

The Hurricanes were their own worst enemies losing the handle on the next snap as sophomore linebacker Samuel Sternberger recovered for the hosts.

From the Lake Weir 33, Shavaris McNair rushed for five yards before a Holland pass was behind his intended target.

Holland scampered for seven yards before McNair added three.

Holland followed his only completion of the game – an 11-yard strike to tight end Isaiah Brown to the ‘Canes’ 5-yard line.

Holland did the rest scoring from 5-yards out.

Maurice Holland

But at 1:48, Talpa hooked the point-after kick, 26-0.

Lake Weir managed one first down before turning the ball over on downs.

The visitors were whistled for three straight flags before the 6-foot, 215-pound Spry rumbled 45 yards for his second touchdown.

Talpa missed the point-after with 13:54 showing in the second quarter, 32-0.

Three plays later, LWHS lofted a 21-yard punt.

The Hurricanes stiffened and forced Austin McCombs‘ only punt of the game -a 32-yarder.

After an incomplete pass, senior quarterback Deiontae Simpkins lost the handle at his own 18-yard line.

Here, HHS senior defensive tackle Cordell Warthen alertly scooped up the loose pigskin and headed 13 yards untouched in the other direction for a defensive touchdown.

Talpa converted the point-after with 56 seconds remaining, 39-0.

To begin the second half, HHS was whistled for pair of fouls, including pass interference to allow the ’Canes to set up first and goal at the Hernando 10-yard line.

Three players generated five yards before a poorly thrown fade route ended Lake Weir’s deepest penetration into enemy territory.

But even after starting a drive from its own 5-yard line, HHS handled the situation with ease.

Ke’von Williams helped extricate the Leopards with a 15-yard burst.

Fred Scrivens .Jr.

McNair added five yards before seldom used Fred Scrivens Jr, zoomed 75 yards on a counter play for HHS’ seventh touchdown.

Talpa missed the point-after, 45-0.

Two snaps later, Lake Weir fumbled the football and junior G’Koby Winn recovered for the Purple and Gold.

Dominic Bowers

Six snaps later, junior backup quarterback Dominic Bowers plowed into the end zone from three yards out to cap the drive.

With 4:41 left, Talpa’s tough day continued missing the point-after boot, 51-0.

Post-game chatter

After securing his first-ever varsity touchdown, Warthen was beaming.

Cordell Warthen

“It feels good,” explained the 17-year-old Warthen. “I saw the quarterback drop the ball, so I went over and scooped it and took off. “

Describing Lake Weir, “They’re a young team, but they’ll be better,“ shared Warthen. “We had great practices leading up to this game. We needed this (win). The real part of our schedule (districts) starts next week“

Maurice Holland

After leading the Leopards to its first win of the season, “It felt pretty good,” admitted the 17-year-old Holland. “I felt like I was in command. We just did our thing. It was important today not to start the season 0-3.”

Jaquan Spry

“Our O-line did a great job,” stressed the 18-year-old Spry. “I wanted to finish the first drive with a touchdown. On the second one, I saw a hole and just took off. We had to play hard today. Lake Weir is not a bad team. I thought the key was we played like a family today.”

After closing last season with back-to-back setbacks and opening this season with two losses stretched Coach Robert Kazmier’s losing streak to four losses in a row.

Robert Kazmier

“I had a good feeling about this game all day,” explained Coach Kazmier. “I thought we were ready to play. We were coming off playing Lake Gibson and a real tough Eau Gallie team at their place.

“I thought we played two really tough teams to open the schedule, which is only gonna help us later.

“…I was most impressed with our intensity. Sometimes that hard to do for 48 minutes, but we kept it together for the shutout,” noted Kazmier.

Matthew Gillespie

“We’ve still got get into better condition,“ added Kazmier. “But today everybody played and it really helped our depth. We needed a game like this before going up to Crystal River.”

In one down note, Kazmier noted that backup running back Matthew Gillespie suffered a concussion following his last carry and his status for next week was uncertain.

Hernando 51, Ocala-Lake Weir 0

 

1

 

2

 

3

 

4

 

TOT

LWR

0

0

0

0

0

HER

26

13

6

6

51

Individual Scoring:

HER –K. Williams 40 run (Talpa kick fails).

HER – Spry 52 run (Talpa kick .

HER – J. Williams 55 run (Talpa kick).

HER – Holland 5 run Spry 45 run (Talpa kick fails). .

HER – Spry 45 run (Talpa kick fails) .

HER – Waerthen 13 fumble recovery touchdown (Talpa kick).

HER – Scrivens 75 run (Talpa kick fails).

HER – Bowers 3 run (Talpa kick fails).

 

LWR

 

HER

First Downs

7

7

Rushing Attempts/Yards

19-13

22-358

Completions/Pass Atts./Int.

14-5-0

1-2-0

Passing Yards

36

11

Total Offense

33-49

24-369

Fumbles/Lost

3-3

0-0

Return Yards

3-20

0

Punts/Average

3.21.0

0-0

Penalties

5-50

5-50

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