INTERLACHEN - Weeki Wachee began its second varsity season on the right foot, and assured a happy, though long, trip home in the process.
The Hornets rolled to a 28-6 win over the Interlachen Rams in a season opener for both schools on a muggy Friday night at Thompson-Baker Stadium.
Two Dominique Oliver incompletions in the end zone in the final seconds of the first half could've been the difference.
The first was short but catchable and the second could have drawn an interference flag.
So a possible 14-14 intermission tie ended up 14-6 in favor of Weeki Wachee.
To make matters worse for the Rams, running back D.J. Chavis was carried off the field in the final minutes with an injury of undetermined severity to his left knee.
"He took a shot to the knee. We don't really know what's the matter," Interlachen head coach Mike Cullison said.
Cullison said he wasn't sure how to describe his team's performance, finally saying, "We played hard, but we came out flat."
The second-year Rams coach agreed the two incomplete passes by Oliver to Chavis late in the second quarter could have made a difference in the game.
"But I'm not going to make excuses," he added.
The Hornet defense bottled up the Rams' running game, holding Chavis to just seven yards and the team to 90 on 22 carries.
Oliver connected on 5-of-19 passes, including a 47-yard touchdown pass to Chavis midway through the second quarter. He was picked off three times, including a desperation heave into the end zone as the game ended.
Meantime, Weeki Wachee unleashed a punishing running game with seven ball carriers totaling 191 yards on 41 carries. Sophomore Devin Dupuis led the way with 65 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, making it 14-0.
Senior quarterback David Tinch hit on 6-of-12 passes for 77 yards and the first touchdown of the game, a 1-yard sneak at the 6:39 mark of the first quarter.
Tinch put the Hornets up 20-6 early in the third quarter with a 25-yard scoring pass to Jon King.
The visitors' final score came with just 1:15 left in the game on a 1-yard plunge by Shawn O'Gorman, a sophomore tailback and linebacker.
Tinch kicked PATs after all four touchdowns.
The Hornets marched 75 yards on 10 runs and an incomplete pass on their first possession of the game.
Interlachen went three-and-out, and Weeki Wachee mounted a seven-play drive, highlighted by a 27-yard pass from Tinch to Justin Rowand before Dupuis plunged in to make it 14-0.
Oliver's touchdown pass to Chavis was a perfectly thrown ball that Chavis hauled in down the home sideline at the 15-yard line, and then cruised into the end zone.
Chavis picked off a Hornet pass late in the second quarter and returned it 40 yards to set up the two unsuccessful passes into the end zone as the half ended.
Weeki Wachee 28, Interlachen 6
Qtr. Scoring 1 2 3 4
WW 14 0 7 7 - 28
IHS 0 6 0 0 - 6
WW - Tinch 1 run (Tinch kick)
WW - Dupuis 1 run (Tinch kick)
IHS - Chavis 47 pass from Oliver (Kick no good)
WW - King 25 pass from Tinch (Tinch kick)
WW - O'Gorman 1 run (Tinch kick)
First Downs 21 8
Atts./Rushing Yds. 41-191 22-90
Comps./Pass/Atts/Int. 6-14-1 5-19-3
Passing Yds. 119 108
Return Yds. 29 63
Punts/Avg. 2-28 1-41
Fumbles/Lost 1-0 3-0
Penalties 12-95 7-45