Weeki Wachee Wins Emotional “Battle of Hexam”
By Danny Aiello Jr
Weeki Wachee rallied late for a 28-27 victory over rival Central Friday, in a game that went beyond the field.
The ‘Battle of Hexam’ as the rivalry is dubbed, was brought about after Weeki Wachee High was formed an zoning saw kids who were scheduled to go to Central head over to the Hornets’ new campus.
The two campuses being so close to each other meant a lot of students grew up playing together, and when Central QB Sebastian Rivera was injured in an accident Tuesday, both campuses felt the pain.
On what was supposed to be homecoming, a festive occasion, the ceremonies were toned down and both teams met at midfield before the game to honor their injured friend with a prayer.
The game itself was an excellent one and one that the community needed to help distract their minds, even if for a few hours.
De’Vonta Smith had 26 carries for 152 yards and four touchdowns, three of which came in the first half, as Central (2-3, 0-2 5A-7) took a 21-6 lead into the locker room.
Weeki Wachee (2-2, 1-0 5A-7) would answer back in the second half, as the Hornet defense forced turnovers and Alec Cromie scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper. Montae Bostick would take a handoff and score the 2-point conversion cutting the Central lead to 21-20.
Following another Central turnover, Shawn O’Gorman scored on an 8-yard touchdown run, and another Bostick 2-point conversion gave the Hornets a 28-21 lead with just under eight minutes remaining.
The Bears wouldn’t go away that easy, as Smith scored for the fourth time, a 2-yard plunge.
Down 28-27 Central went for a 2-point conversion and the lead, but were stopped short, ultimately giving Weeki Wachee the win.
“Hats off to Central, as they played a hell of a game under the conditions they played with.” Coach Mark Lee of Weeki Wachee said. “I can’t possibly imagine a 16-year old going through that, but it was a great win for us coming from behind.”
Central head Coach Chris Sands offered no excuses and was proud of his team’s effort given the very trying circumstances.
“Weeki Wachee played a wonderful game being an emotional week for both of us.” Sands said. “It came down to who had the ball last, and that’s football.”
Up Next: District action rolls on for both of these teams Friday, as Weeki Wachee hosts Citrus, while Central hosts Lecanto.