DR. PHILLIPS Tanner Ingle started the 2016 regular season with a bang.
The junior defensive back and kick returner ran the opening kickoff back 90 yards for a touchdown, giving Dr. Phillips an early lead and the Panthers (1-0) never looked back in a 28-7 defeat of Wekiva (0-1).
"Anytime you score on the opening play of the game, the excitement that you get from the kids on the sideline, it just brings momentum," head coach Rodney Wells said. "That was the biggest play of the game."
In Dr. Phillips' ninth-consecutive win in its season opener, quarterback Marvin Washington stood out, completing 12 of his 18 pass attempts for 152 yards and a touchdown.
Perhaps more importantly, though, was the discipline Wells' team had when it came to execution and penalties.
"Last week (in the Kickoff Classic against Jones) we probably had 150 yards in penalties," Wells said. "This week we played a very clean game."
Fresh off of a strong showing against Oviedo in its own Kickoff Classic, Wekiva took some time to rebound after the Panthers came out with such a strong start. Trailing 28-0 at halftime, though, the Mustangs outscored Dr. Phillips 7-0 in the second half and new coach Rich Bedesem was pleased with his team's effort despite being down big.
"I challenged them at halftime," Bedesem said. "We knew it was going to be a challenge and now we know how hard we've got to come."
For Dr. Phillips: The Panthers (1-0) will host Lake Mary (0-1). The Rams were soundly defeated by Bolles (Jacksonville) in their opener, 62-24.
For Wekiva: The Mustangs (0-1) will play the second of three road games to start the season when they travel to south downtown Orlando to take on Boone (0-1). The Braves were defeated 45-21 by Lake Brantley in their opener.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].