ZEPHYRHILLS - Silence filled the air at Bulldogs Stadium after a 7-yard run by Weeki Wachee quarterback Marcus Allen ended in a violent collision that ripped Allen's helmet off late in the second quarter.
The junior, who was replacing injured starter David Tinch (shoulder) under center in the contest, was motionless on the turf and had to be taken off the field on a stretcher before being ambulanced to Florida Hospital in Zephyrhills.
"He had some tingling in his neck, but he had full movement in all his body parts. That was good," Hornets head coach Mark Lee said. "I think a lot of it was precaution. He's 17, 18 years old. We don't want to take any unnecessary risks."
"He's a little banged up . (but) I would not be surprised if Marcus is out there next week, "Lee added.
Adding insult to injury for the Hornets: a 42-7 district loss in which they gave up 28 points in the first quarter and were held scoreless until 2:06 remained in the contest.
Devon Brockington scored three touchdowns in the first half and Jaylen Pickett ran for 146 yards and a score on 12 carries, as Zephyrhills (4-1 overall, 1-1 Class 5A, District 6) celebrated homecoming by throttling Weeki Wachee.
Behind a motivated offensive line and a speedy assortment of running backs, the Bulldogs ran the ball 27 times for 324 yards in the first half and controlled the contest throughout.
Zephyrhills needed only three plays, and less than a minute, to find the end zone after Brockington returned the opening kickoff 56 yards. An 11-yard scoring run by Brockington would begin the onslaught.
Following a three-and-out by the Hornets, the Bulldogs found the end zone again. Ty Tanner punched it in from four yards out to give Zephyrhills an early 14-0 lead.
Trailing by two scores and faced with fourth-and-15 at the Zephyrhills 40 later in the first quarter, Weeki Wachee decided to go for it. Allen completed a pass to leading receiver Dayonta Patterson (four catches, 42 yards), but it only went for 13 yards and the Hornets turned the ball over on downs.
The Bulldogs scored on the very next play, as Jordan Roberts found paydirt on a 72 yard blast to make it 21-0 with 2:50 left in the first quarter.
Weeki Wachee would fumble away the ensuing kickoff, giving Zephyrhills possession deep in Hornet territory. Zephyrhills scored on its first play again, as a 26-yard run by Brockington made it 28-0.
In the second quarter, the Bulldogs increased its lead to 42-0 by adding a 5-yard touchdown run by Pickett (who had 10 carries for 136 yards in the first half) and a 39-yard touchdown pass from Tanner to Brockington.
Penalties and failed fourth-down conversions by both teams highlighted a quick second half that featured a running clock.
With Allen, who had 13 carries for 102 yards before the injury, out of commission, Kyle Keelan and Tinch split snaps at quarterback for Weeki Wachee. Tinch, a senior, scored on a quarterback keeper from six yards out with 2:06 remaining to prevent the shutout.
Zephyrhills 42, Weeki Wachee 7
Qtr. Scoring 1 2 3 4
WW 0 0 0 7 - 7
ZEP 28 14 0 0 - 42
ZEP - Brockington 11 run (Gleaton kick)
ZEP - Tanner 4 run (Gleaton kick)
ZEP - Roberts 72 run (Gleaton kick)
ZEP - Brockington 26 run (Gleaton kick)
ZEP - Pickett 6 run (Gleaton kick)
ZEP - Brockington 39 pass from Tanner (Gleaton kick)
WW - Tinch 6 run (Tinch kick)
First Downs 10 10
Atts./Rushing Yds. 39-202 40-377
Comps./Pass/Atts/Int. 5-16-2 2-4-0
Passing Yds. 50 62
Total Offense 55-252 44-439
Return Yds. 6-223 2-68
Punts/Avg. 1-33 1-33
Fumbles/Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties 4-25 10-105