GHS pulls away after slow start
Published: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 8:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 20, 2013 at 8:03 p.m.
CANDLER — It wasn't the prettiest road victory to open the district schedule, but Gainesville coach Mark Latsko didn't seem to mind.
After all, it ended with a win thanks to Latsko's offense kicking it in gear in the second half.
Caelen Christian tossed two touchdown passes, Tony James ran for 111 yards and Gainesville erupted for 346 yards in the second half for a 34-14 win over Lake Weir in the District 5-6A opener for both teams.
The victory, Gainesville's third straight, improves the Hurricanes to 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in the district while Lake Weir dropped to 0-3-1 and 0-1.
Up only 3-0 at the half, Gainesville scored on all five possessions in the second half, leading off on tight end Nick McGriff's 1-yard plunge for a score two plays following his 53-yard reception in which he appeared to get in but officials moved it back two yards.
Two more scores in the third, a 63-yard TD sprint by Dontarian Evans and a 31-yard TD catch from Kenric Young, put GHS in control at 24-7.
A 17-yard TD pass from Christian to Evans made it 31-7 early in the fourth.
“Penalties were drive killers, and they went to an unbalanced pistol stuff that kept our offense off the field there in the first half,” Latsko said. “We didn't run that many offensive plays in the first half. Hit the holes and play sound football and tackle in the second half. Anytime you go on the road and win a district game, winning a high school football game isn't easy, but we will take it.
“For whatever reason, we will try to control what we can control. We can't control if a flag is going to be called on a play.”
GHS had at least four touchdowns called back for holding penalties. It finished with 15 penalties for 135 yards.
Evans had 86 yards on just five carries with two TDs. GHS held Lake Weir running back Alonzo Taylor to 54 yards in the second half. The sophomore finished with a game-high 151 yards.
“We look forward to the open week and will get ready for (Ocala) Forest,” Latsko said.
Christian finished 6-of-13 for 135 yards with two TDs, passing for 108 of that in the second half.