Friday, November 24, 2017
Sports

Football: Armwood 41, Springstead 0

RECOMMENDED READING


SEFFNER — Armwood's highly touted defense heard the jokes after giving up 48 points in a second-round win over Jefferson last week.

The Hawks should change their name to Armwoo — no D.

"Our defense was like, nah, we can't have that," defensive lineman Byron Cowart said.

So Cowart's Hawks silenced the jokers Friday night, returning to typical defensive dominance by overwhelming Springstead in a 41-0 Class 6A region final blowout at Lyle Flagg Field.

The Eagles' first shutout loss in two years sends Armwood (13-0) to its ninth state semifinal since 2000 and a showdown against Bartram Trail with a trip to Orlando at stake.

The Hawks dominated from the start against Springstead (11-2), the first Hernando County team to reach the third round of the playoffs. On their first drive, the Hawks needed only six plays to cover 97 yards — 5 more than Springstead totaled in the first three quarters. Noah Johnson raced 11 yards on a quarterback keeper to put Armwood up for good.

"That was one of the things — we wanted to make a statement early in the game," Hawks coach Sean Callahan said. "It was clear that we were going to play good football."

Armwood never slowed down. Hunter Zilbar snagged a diving, one-handed catch in the end zone on a 9-yard Johnson pass on the next drive. Greg Newton gashed the Eagles for a 30-yard touchdown rush early in the second quarter, and Trevor Laurent caught a 70-yard score.

Even when Springstead's defense appeared to make a stand, Armwood found a crack. After a Hawks penalty set up fourth down, Johnson hit Austin Gallon, who broke a slant route into a 44-yard score. Johnson finished with 251 passing yards and three touchdowns, and his Hawks scored more points Friday (41) than Springstead allowed in its entire district schedule (40).

"Everything's clicking over there," Cowart said of his offense. "The whole team's clicking right now. It's crazy."

Cowart's defense was equally impressive. Springstead never cracked the Hawks' 30-yard line, mustered only six first downs and finished with only 116 yards.

"We couldn't give them any success," Cowart said.

Cowart, Jordan Griffin, Hyriam Frederick and a dominant front seven contained the Eagles' strong ground game. Eagles quarterback Tyler Mahla finished with only 63 rushing yards and 11 passing yards, and Dederallo Blue had an interception for the Hawks.

Springstead had only six plays all game that covered more than 4 yards; Armwood had five such plays on its first drive alone.

"This stings," Eagles coach Mike Garofano said.

Springstead's defeat was made worse by an injury to Daniel Wright, who was knocked out of the game early in the second half. The junior running back was alert as he left the field on a stretcher, but no other information on his condition was available.

Comments

Ugly injury sidelines Mississippi State QB

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald sustained a gruesome right ankle injury in the first quarter that forced him to leave Thursday’s game against Mississippi. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Fitzgerald was running the ball when ...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Sports in brief

SoccerStudy to look into soccer players and brain disease LONDON — A major study into whether soccer players are at risk of degenerative brain disease was commissioned Thursday amid concerns that the sport’s authorities in England haven’t done enough...
Updated: 8 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Switching to bottom fishing for grouper, snapper

With water temperatures falling, offshore anglers soon will have less species to target. Migratory species such as cobia, kingfish and Spanish mackerel will be migrating south for the winter. Most offshore captains will switch to bottom fishing for g...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

Jon Mott wins record fifth Times Turkey Trot 10K

By BOB PUTNAMCLEARWATER — The Tampa Bay Times Turkey Trot has long been a fixture on Jon Mott’s sporting calendar. Not even a 103-degree fever Tuesday could keep him away from the event, in its 39th year. Mott, a record four-time 10k champion, added ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Friday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballMissouri vs. St. John’s11 a.m.ESPNewsArkansas State at USFnoon820-AMVillanova vs. Northern IowanoonESPN2Wooden Legacy: St. Mary’s (Calif.) vs. Washington State1:30 p.m.ESPNewsTennessee vs. N.C. State2:30 p.m.ESPN2PK80: Portland...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Updated: 9 hours ago
Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

Bucs players, coaches say they cherish getting game balls for special feats

TAMPA — In the jubilant moments after a Bucs win, Dirk Koetter will sometimes ask for a game-used ball from his equipment staff, hold it high in the locker room and present it to the player who was most crucial to the victory.NFL players can ask for ...
Updated: 9 hours ago

Latest lineNBAFavorite Line O/U Underdog Portland 3½ (211) at BROOK New York 2 (207½) at ATL at BOS 8½ (208) Orlando at O.C. 8 (204) Detroit at MINN 4 (207½) Miami Toronto 1½ (216½) at IND at CLEVE OFF (OFF) Char. at DEN 6 (208½) Mem. N.O. 6 (229) at...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Chargers pick off Cowboys

Chargers pick off Cowboys

ARLINGTON, Texas — Philip Rivers and the Chargers are on the move. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are fading fast. Rivers threw for 434 yards and three touchdowns in his first Thanksgiving game in his 14th season and the Chargers beat the fading Cowboy...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Don’t forget Ryan Callahan in Lightning’s resurgence

Don’t forget Ryan Callahan in Lightning’s resurgence

WASHINGTON — Much has been made about the impact on the Lightning of a healthy C Steven Stamkos, who missed most of last season after knee surgery.But don’t forget about RW Ryan Callahan, 32, who is looking like his old self after hip problems plague...
Updated: 9 hours ago