Har­mony wins dis­trict

Picks off 6 passes, routs Lake Nona; 1st ti­tle since 2007

Orlando Sentinel - - SPORTS WEEKEND - By J.C. Car­na­han

Har­mony scored 21 points in the sec­ond quar­ter and in­ter­cepted host Lake Nona six times Fri­day in what sec­ond-year coach Don Si­mon called a sig­na­ture win for his team in Class 7A, Dis­trict 5.

The Longhorns (7-1, 5-0), ranked No. 13 in the Sen­tinel Su­per 16, rolled to a con­vinc­ing 41-12 de­ci­sion over the No. 10 Lions (5-2, 3-1) while com­pil­ing over 400 yards of of­fense.

Har­mony claims its first dis­trict cham­pi­onship since 2007 and will have home-field ad­van­tage in the first round of the play­offs. The Longhorns can wrap up an un­beaten dis­trict slate with a win at home next week against Cel­e­bra­tion.

“This was the one that kind of eluded us last year, so we’ve been look­ing at this one ever since,” Si­mon said. “We knew com­ing into this year that it was us and Lake Nona to win the dis­trict, that we’d have to do it through them, and we did it.”

Se­nior quar­ter­back Nathan Her­stich fin­ished 10 of 22 pass­ing for 186 yards and a touch­down and added 106 yards rush­ing and two scores for Har­mony. Justin Glea­son added 123 yards on the ground.

“This is huge for us,” Her­stich said. “Two years ago I played on this field and we lost to Lake Nona big-time. They ran up the score up on us and that’s kind of been in [our] hearts since then.”

Lake Nona jumped on the Longhorns mid­way through the first quar­ter when Moises Ara­cena broke mul­ti­ple tack­les and ran through the heart of the de­fense for an 85-yard touch­down.

But the Lions were picked off on their next two pos­ses­sions, the sec­ond of which was re­turned 11 yards for a touch­down by Ah­meen Dinzey to put the Longhorns in front for good at 10-6. Ryan Car­roll backed the Lions up in­side their own 2-yard line a play ear­lier by sack­ing Michael Kern.

Har­mony poured it on in the fi­nal min­utes of the half to take a com­mand­ing 24-6 lead into the break as Her­stich rushed for a 3-yard score then con­nected for a 32-yard touch­down pass to Eli­jah Fer­nan­dez.

Car­roll forced Kern to throw his first in­ter­cep­tion of the night while in pur­suit to­ward the vis­it­ing side­line.

He also blocked a punt on Lake Nona’s first drive of the third quar­ter and took an in­ter­cep­tion 60 yards for a score with just eight se­conds to play.

PHELAN M. EBENHACK/OR­LANDO SEN­TINEL COR­RE­SPON­DENT

Har­mony QB Nate Her­stich (7), who passed for a TD and ran for two more in Fri­day’s dis­trict ti­tle-clinch­ing vic­tory, gets pro­tec­tion from line­man Thomas Schroeder (77).

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