Marcus Lattimore admitted he was so nervous prior to his debut as Heathwood Hall's head football coach he thought he was going to vomit.
He calmed down and his first game as a head coach on the varsity level proved that he had little reason to be nervous. The Highlanders won 42-7 in a dominating debut for Lattimore.
Brandon McCullough, who was sporting Lattimore's #21, scored four touchdowns to pace the Highlander offense. Daniel Schmitt provided the highlight for the defense with a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown.
Minutes after the final seconds ticked off the clock and after a team huddle where he was presented with the game ball, Lattimore reflected on his first game-day as a head coach on the varsity level.
"It was special," he said.
"I really haven't had time to think about the significance of it, my first game as a head coach. Maybe I'll soak it tonight. Maybe I'll hang out and think about this journey and where it's been. Got my first win, so I'm excited."
Lattimore has obviously played at a high level and he said it was tough to sit back and have his players carry out their assignments without fighting the urge to take matters into his own hands and show them how to execute the play
"I'm slowly learning you can't do it for them," Lattimore said.
"You just have to go out there and trust them, trust what you've instilled in them and they go out and hopefully execute it."
The former USC running back said he is kind of taking on the personality of the Head Ball Coach who is one of Lattimore's many influences.
"I feel Coach Spurrier rubbing off on me a little bit," Lattimore said.
"I will admit that. When you're a competitor, that's what happens. You go out there and you want to win every game. You want to win every play when in all actuality it's not going to happen. But i thought our special teams played great. Offense and defense we definitely have to improve."
Spoken like a coach - a 42-7 season opening win isn't good enough and Lattimore's pursuit of excellence will continue next week as the Highlanders travel to defending SCISA 3A state champion Ben Lippen.
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