WEEKI WACHEE — Weeki Wachee couldn't hold a halftime lead on its first senior night, losing 19-12 to Nature Coast on Friday.
"With the way things have gone this year, you are just trying to keep (the players) right there, looking into their eyes," Nature Coast coach Charles Liggett said. "They're a good group, and we got the win."
Weeki Wachee coach Mark Lee, who held the same position at Nature Coast in 2008, had his players pumped up for the season finale.
"(The kids) played hard, but we ended up spinning our wheels a little bit on offense," Lee said. "It just came down to some key mistakes."
After Tyler Wiley intercepted Ryan Quigley and returned it into the red zone early, the Hornets (3-7) scored first with a David Tinch 1-yard sneak.
During the drive, Ryan Roscillo, Nature Coast's receiver, defensive back and long snapper, injured his knee and did not return. (His status is unknown.) So once the Sharks (3-7) got the ball, a three-and-out became a major problem.
The snap sailed over punter Alec Perkins and into the end zone. Emmanuel Cius tackled him for a safety to make it 9-0.
Weeki Wachee was on the doorstep of pushing the lead further. But a long pass down the sideline from Tinch was picked off by Joseph Leonard. That led to an 18-yard Quigley touchdown run that left the Sharks down 9-7 at halftime. Quigley was 1-of-5 for 58 yards, a touchdown and an interception. But he had a career-high 61 yards on 16 carries.
The Sharks' ball control offense changed things in the second half. Rohan Blackwood caught a pass on third and long from Quigley for the 58-yard score. But the rest of the offense came from C.J. Maner (19 carries, 88 yards, one touchdown) and Cameron Syblis (12 carries, 77 yards).
"The mentality coming out of the locker room was that they are only as good as we let them be," Blackwood said. "So we smacked them in the mouth and came out with a bang."
Tinch's late 36-yard field goal got the Hornets within a touchdown. But Nature Coast closed it out with a few first downs.