SPRING HILL — The level of Brian Beeker’s play seems to rise every time Springstead’s desperation grows.
If future results are anything like Friday night’s, the Eagles need not fear when they are put in that position.
Springstead broke open a three-point game at halftime to win its homecoming battle over River Ridge 38-17 thanks in large part to the exploits of their senior quarterback.
While Springstead (3-4) continued to give up prime field position to the Royal Knights (2-5), Beeker was in control of the offense. He moved the ball downfield with almost no resistance.
“They didn’t know if we were going to run it or throw it,” Beeker said. “Once I got into the open field, I was just looking to make a big play.”
The dual-threat quarterback rushed for more than 100 yards in the first half alone and finished with 11 carries for 161 yards. He also threw three touchdowns, completing 9 of 14 passes for 116 yards.
Springstead defensive back Pedro Estrada snuffed River Ridge’s hopes for a comeback at the end of the third quarter. The Knights just entered the red zone down 24-14 when Estrada stripped running back Austin Schwarz and brought the ball back 81 yards for a touchdown.
After dropping a key Class 4A, District 5 game on the road last week to Lake Weir, the Eagles needed a breakout game to regain their confidence heading into the stretch run of the schedule.
“We certainly played well tonight,” Springstead coach Bill Vonada said, “but we are going to have to take it up a whole notch next week.”