CANDLER — Lake Weir (3-1) and Gainesville (2-1) squared off in a battle of the Hurricanes on Friday night. The district matchup proved to be an exciting slugfest up until halfway through the fourth quarter when Lake Weir gave up three unanswered touchdowns in a 47-24 loss.

Gainesville took a lead on its second possession with an 11-yard Alex Brown carry.

Lake Weir was slow to generate yardage early on, but was able to get into field goal range. Senior kicker Nixon Mejia tacked on three points for Lake Weir with a 45-yard field goal, a career long.

It wasn’t until half way through the second quarter that the pace picked up for both teams.

Gainesville quarterback Luke Matthews connected with senior wide receiver Isaac Meacham on a 31-yard touchdown reception. The Matthews–Meacham duo would prove to be a lethal combination as the game progressed. Matthews finished 15 of 23 (1 TD, 2 INT) with nearly half of those passes getting to Meacham’s hands.

Down 12-3, Lake Weir would go on to lose two possessions on fumbles. Gainesville went on to capitalize on one of them, making it 19-3.

Lake Weir junior quarterback Deiontae Simpkins found Brian Dillard on a 15-yard pass play, setting up a 20-yard Tavoo Randall touchdown run. Gainesville answered quickly by putting together a nice drive to tack on seven more points after an eight-yard K.Z. Hutchinson rush for a 26-10 lead.

Simpkins connected with USF commit Brian Dillard on a short slant that went for a 75-yard touchdown early in the third quarter.

Following an exchange of punts, Lake Weir would stop Gainesville on fourth-and-5. Lake Weir only needed one play to put six more points on the board when Simpkins connected with Dillard for a 50-yard touchdown. Simpkins finished the night 15 of 25 with two TDs.

Down 26-24 with 10 minutes to go, Lake Weir was in prime position to complete the comeback.

However, following the touchdown pass, Gainesville would come right out the gate and score on a 70-yard kickoff return. Lake Weir wouldn’t find its bearings after the deflating return.

Struggling with a destroyed morale, Lake Weir would give up two more unanswered touchdowns as Gainesville waltzed away with the victory.

Lake Weir looks to prepare for another Gainesville team next week where they will kickoff at Eastside at 7:30. Gainesville will square off against North Marion next week at Citizens Field.