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Published Nov. 19, 2012

Gainesville, the No. 1 team in the state, dominated Hernando 60-3 in a Class 6A region quarterfinal Friday night.

Gainesville quarterback Mark Cato threw three first-half touchdown strikes of 12, 80 and 21 yards, and running back Ralph Webb had an 11-yard touchdown rush.

The 'Canes defense made life miserable for the Leopards (6-5) all night, holding them to fewer than 100 yards.

Hernando managed just 2 first-quarter yards and had minus-30 yards rushing in the third quarter.

"They came in it, and they wanted it more than we wanted it," first-year Hernando coach Dwayne Mobley said. "We'll be back in this situation next year, and we'll continue to get better. ...

"We'll learn from this. ... Gainesville is a pretty good team."

Gainesville (11-1) scored touchdowns on their first four drives. Mark Cato hit Case Harrison for a 12-yard touchdown pass for a 7-0 lead.

The next touchdown came as Ralph Webb had a physical 11-yard touchdown rush in the end zone for a 14-0 Gainesville advantage at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Cato found a wide-open Chris Thompson for an 80-yard pass down the left sideline, and later Cato found Larry Prunty on a rollout for a 21-yard scoring pass to give the 'Canes a 28-0 cushion. Alex Holloway booted four extra points .

Hernando only managed one first down compared to Gainesville's 14.

Hernando's only score came just before the first half ended when JW McKethan kicked a 23-yard field goal set up by a Tyrail Hawkins' 72-yard scamper to get the Leopards deep in Gainesville territory.

The Hurricanes led 28-3 at the half.

In the third quarter, Cato threw a tight spiral to Prunty for a 40-yard touchdown, and Cato dashed to the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown run.

The Gainesville defense got a score when Alex Gonzales picked off a pass and darted 50 yards for a big 47-3 lead.

"We had good execution, and played pretty strong," Gainesville coach James Thomson said. "I'm happy we were ready to play after the bye week.