TARPON SPRINGS — Because Tarpon Springs tailbacks Adrian Golden and Darius Daniels split carries almost equally during the regular season, neither put up ridiculously spectacular totals.
But in using that plan, the Spongers kept both fresh.
And the payoff came Friday night.
Against overmatched Lake Weir in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs, Golden carried nine times for 138 yards and four touchdowns while Daniels added 108 more on 16 attempts in a 54-20 Tarpon Springs romp.
"You can't stop both of us," Golden said.
Lake Weir stopped neither.
Or anyone else in a Spongers jersey for that matter.
All told, Tarpon Springs (9-2) rushed for 315 yards and passed for 120 more in arguably its best offensive effort this season. The defense also got into the act, intercepting five passes and coming up with seven turnovers.
Golden scored on runs of 70, 8, 54 and 8 — and had an 83-yard kickoff return for six nullified because of a block in the back.
Daniels might not have gotten into the end zone, but he did complete a 56-yard halfback pass to Savvas Damalos on third and 13 early in the second quarter, which put Tarpon Springs ahead 20-7.
"The cornerbacks thought he was going to throw it short, so they went in," Damalos said. "I knew it was going over their heads so I went up and got it."
The play was a microcosm of the game.
Tarpon Springs simply came up with all the big plays. Lake Weir continually shot itself in the foot (with the Spongers' help).
Case in point: After Lake Weir recovered the second-half kickoff on the Spongers 6, Tarpon Springs kept the Hurricanes (8-3) from scoring a touchdown, then watched as they missed a short field goal.
Four plays later, Golden got loose for his 54-yarder and it was 37-14 with 7:41 remaining in the third.
That all but iced it.
"The biggee was the defensive stop at the beginning of the half," Tarpon Springs coach George Kotis said.