Going into the fourth quarter Friday night, the Weeki Wachee Hornets looked like the same old team.
Trailing host Interlachen, 22-7, this game looked to end the way the past few did for the Hornets, with another loss chalked up to a poor defensive effort and turnovers.
Then the unthinkable happened. The Hornets rallied to tie the game at 22, with sophomore Marcus Allen throwing three touchdowns, all of them to junior Jon King,
They eventually won it in overtime, 29-22, on a Jacob Cimino 4-yard touchdown run. It's the first district triumph in school history for the first-year varsity program.
"It was like we played two games," Weeki Wachee head coach Mark Lee said. "That was by far the worst first half of football I've ever seen. Just awful, awful tackling."
The Rams (1-7 overall, 0-5 4A-4) took advantage of an interception that they returned to the house, and benefitted from that sloppy tackling, giving them their big lead after 36 minutes. The home team looked poised to end its four-game slide.
"The second half was amazing." Lee said, "We faced adversity and we handled it well. Just very proud that we fought and didn't quit. It's a huge step in the right direction."
The comeback may have shocked the Interlachen fans, but Lee had little reason to be surprised.
"At the half, wow, that was the most ticked off I've ever been over football." Lee said, "Let's just say I told them how I felt and got my point across in (the locker room). I'm glad they came out and made the adjustment."
"We need to work on taking care of the football." Lee said, "Tackling, taking care of the football and just coming out to play for the entire game."
Weeki Wachee (2-6 overall, 1-5 4A-4) now will look to put together a win streak as it returns home for homecoming to play Duval Charter School from Jacksonville next Friday.
Although homecoming can be a distracting time for high school athletes, Lee isn't worried.
"Every coach in America hates homecoming." Lee said, "A lot of added distractions that aren't needed, but we will get to work hard this week and come out ready to play."