TAVARES — Two first-half touchdowns from junior running back Alvin Delaine and 206 yards on the ground was enough to elevate Hernando to a 25-13 triumph Friday.
It was a game that could have major consequences in the 3A-6 race. Hernando improved to 3-2 overall, 2-1 in the district, while Tavares fell to 3-3 overall, 0-3 in 3A-6.
"We wanted to control the football because No. 2 for them looked so good on film," Tavares coach Gavin Jones said. "And he was as good as advertised. We knew they were going to run the ball. They didn't do anything different."
What Hernando did do was, for the most part, frustrate the Bulldogs. Delaine put Tavares on its heels early, taking the first carry of the Leopards' second possession 68 yards for the score at the 6:58 mark of the opening quarter. The point-after touchdown kick missed, but they were up 6-0.
"We're a running team primarily," Hernando coach John Palmer said. "That's what we do. Our offensive line did a solid job executing the offensive game plan."
Another turnover, a pass intercepted by Hernando's Sam Adams, led to a seven-play, 49-yard drive and an 18-0 Hernando lead, Marlin Smith powering in from a yard out with 10:20 left in the half.
In the first half, Hernando had 193 total yards to Tavares' 74.
C.J. Risak, Special to the Times