WEEKI WACHEE — Despite being caught in epic rain and a lightning delay, Springstead and Weeki Wachee grinded out the first official meeting between their programs Friday night.
The Eagles eventually emerged with a 14-0 victory in the Hornets Nest, but Weeki Wachee held its own against one of the top teams in the area.
Springstead (1-1), employing the triple-option attack that has made the team successful for the past two decades, thrived in the wet conditions. Running back Daniel Wright carried the ball 30 times for 223 yards, the highest total since Justin Melnik ran for 194 yards for the Eagles in 2001.
“I’m excited, but I still made some mental and physical mistakes out there,” Wright said. “I have to give a lot of credit to my offensive line.”
However, the Eagles struggled to put points on the board as Weeki Wachee (1-1) forced five fumbles, three of which Springstead lost.
Other than the two touchdown runs Eagles quarterback Tyler Mahla had in the second quarter, scoring was nonexistent.
“We left at least 21 points on the field,” Springstead coach Mike Garofano said. “Ball control was huge, but we just couldn’t put them away. We kept shooting ourselves in the foot.”
Hornets running back Marcus Allen, who sat out of the first half for an unidentified team infraction, helped get things going late. While he totaled only 31 yards (21 rush, 10 receiving), his presence opened things up for David Tinch to move the ball through the air, connecting with wide receiver Dayonta Patterson for a 60-yard pass.
“We moved the ball much better in the second half,” Weeki Wachee coach Mark Lee said. “The most important thing about a game like this is that last year it would have been a moral victory. Now, the guys are in the locker room (angry) about not winning.”
Despite getting the ball inside the 10, Weeki Wachee came up empty when Shane Wiggins was in on two sacks of Tinch to seal the win.