TAMPA — Chamberlain came. It saw. It Dontae'd.
When the game was over, this much was very clear: These Chiefs mean business.
Friday's 48-21 victory over Hillsborough at amped-up Chelo Huerta Field may have officially ushered in the Chiefs as the powerhouse — excuse me, state powerhouse — that most preseason prognosticators had them pegged to be.
"Oh, we're for real,'' said quarterback Dontae Aycock, who ran for four scores and threw for another. "Some teams may be getting scared of us.''
The Chiefs' running game was awesome. The passing game was as good as it's been this season, and it is going to get only better, as if Chamberlain needs to add another alternative to its triple-option attack.
The defense was ferocious and opportunistic, with as quick a pass rush as you will find this side of Seffner.
Speaking of which, I say we rearrange the bye weeks to give Armwood and Chamberlain the same week off, put both teams in a room and, you know, see what happens.
Chamberlain looked up for that challenge Friday night, even with one minor scare: Aycock fumbled on the third play, leading to Hillsborough's first score, but came back with three of his own touchdowns — all in the first quarter — and also a sore knee.
"All of a sudden he needs a brace,'' said coach Billy Turner. "Brian (his son and assistant coach) came over and said, 'Dad, I don't know if he's going to be able to keep playing.' ''
It was going to take more than a sore knee to keep Aycock from finishing off this gem, though. He added two touchdown runs after putting the brace on and was even tougher to corral in the second half against a defense that is very fast and will, given a few more weeks to mature, be very good, but that never gives up 48 points in a game.
When it wasn't Aycock gashing the Terriers, it was Kenny Allen, who rushed for more than 100 yards, slashing them, and Lamond Scott dashing by them for a touchdown.
"(Hillsborough coordinator Dean Eychner) is one of the best in the business. Ask him what he thought about the Dontae Aycock Offense,'' said Turner. "He looked at me and told me he thought it was the best he's seen, and I'm proud of that.''
Aycock blushed when told that Turner unofficially named the offense after him, but Aycock runs it so well, it was hard for the coach to resist.
Built like a linebacker, Aycock is masterful at putting the ball deep into his running back's gut before letting go or pulling back. His choices, almost always and especially Friday, are the right ones.
"I had five touchdowns in a game against Gaither last year, I think, but this game means more. … This was Hillsborough,'' Aycock said. "Since I've been here, we had never beaten them. And this showed that we can beat the big-name schools. We can beat anyone.''
Turner was nearly at a loss for words when addressing his team afterward. "I'm so proud I could …burst,'' he said.
The old guy couldn't stop smiling, and that's never a bad thing. Hundreds of people not even affiliated with the Chamberlain program would simply be tickled if the coaching icon could win his first state title this season.
Friday night, the Dontae Aycock Offense made that look more and more like a real possibility.