BROOKSVILLE — Hernando Christian hoped implementing a spread option offense this season would give the team a more explosive look.
The hopes of bouncing back from last season's 1-9 season were dashed early as Landmark Christian shut out HCA 55-0 at Ernie Wever Park.
What the Lions (0-1) didn't count on was losing second-leading rusher Nate Kautsky in the first quarter from the already depleted 22-man roster. The fullback left and didn't return. He was key to what first-year coach Mike D'Ambrosio had planned with the spread attack.
"We have no other fullbacks," D'Ambrosio said. "So that eliminated 65 to 70 percent of our offense right there."
The Patriots (2-0) had no such problems with depth. Starting quarterback Tommy Tyler ran the show, and at some points during the game, he was all over the gridiron, playing tailback and wide receiver as well.
Tyler went 4-of-5 for 33 yards and one touchdown, had one catch for 21 yards and had six carries for 100 yards and one touchdown.
Although the Lions entered the fourth quarter with minus-24 yards of total offense, they bounced back in the final 12 minutes.
Dakota D'Ambrosio finished with 22 carries for 32 yards, a momentum boost for HCA.
"I'm not looking for any miracles here," Mike D'Ambrosio said. "Even moving the ball is going to be something to build on."