Sunday, April 22, 2018
Sports

Football: Armwood 41, Springstead 0

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
Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

Rays are suddenly swinging hot bats, but will it last?

TAMPA – Good pitching and hitting go hand and glove, but the Rays did not look like a team that could swing the bats very well until this completed homestand.In their series sweep over the Twins, Tampa Bay scored 8, 10 and 8 runs. In Sunday's 8...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

Rays’ Carlos Gomez hits two-run walkoff homer to beat Twins for series sweep

ST. PETERSBURG — With every swing, there is a chance Carlos Gomez is going to do something extraordinary with the baseball bat.He may swing so violently that he spins himself into the ground as if he were an oil drill. Or, you could see him sna...
Updated: 1 hour ago
District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

District softball schedules for Tampa Bay

Class 9A-8 (higher seed hosts)Tuesday: No. 3 Alonso at No. 2 Palm Harbor University, 4; No. 4 Sarasota Riverview at No. 1 Newsome, 7Thursday: Final, 4 or 7 (depending on who hosts)Class 8A-4 at Strawberry Crest Tuesday: No. 1 Wharton vs. No. 4 Wiregr...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

Andrei Vasilevskiy and the universal language of playoff hockey

TAMPA — As usual, Andrei Vasilevskiy didn't speak in front of the cameras after the game. He has been like that since he hit the NHL. He still isn't comfortable with his English on TV.But Vasilevskiy spoke loudly and clearly in the first-round ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

How Baker Mayfield can benefit the Bucs

TAMPA — The buzz at the top of this year's NFL draft is a class of talented quarterbacks deep enough to challenge the all-time record of six in the first round, set in 1983 with a group that included future Hall of Famers John Elway, Jim Kelly ...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Ex-NFL kicker Jay Feely apologizes for ‘joke’ gun photo

Former NFL kicker Jay Feely, who was born in Odessa and starred at Tampa Jesuit, has apologized for a photo he intended as a joke, showing him holding a gun as he poses with his daughter and her prom date."Wishing my beautiful daughter and her date a...
Updated: 6 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, going for the first series sweep of the season, 1:10 p.m.

Rays pitcher Yonny Chirinos is no longer just part of a bullpen day, he's the No. 4 starter and who goes to the mound at 1:10 p.m. against Phil Hughes to try to help Tampa Bay attempt to complete a three-game sweep of the Twins.Catcher Wilson Ramos g...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

Lightning has answer for Devils and David Puddy

You knew those who work the scoreboard for the Lightning games at Amalie Arena would have an answer Saturday during Game 5 to the Devils using David Puddy during Game 4 at the Prudential Center.Puddy meets Homer Simpson.Actually, Puddy met Terry the ...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Rays thoughts are with ex-teammate Danny Farquhar

Members of the Rays organization sent their thoughts and prayers to former teammate Danny Farquhar, who was hospitalized Saturday night in Chicago in stable but critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm.Farqu...
Published: 04/22/18
Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Rays on Sunday: 1:10 vs. Twins

Sunday vs. Twins1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 760-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $20-$300; available at Tropicana Field box office, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of game.Promotion: Mascot socks for kids 14 a...
Published: 04/22/18