SPRING HILL — After a rough start, Springstead welcomed the beginning of its Class 4A, District 5 schedule when Lecanto came strolling into Booster Stadium on Friday night.
After allowing the Panthers to score on their opening possession, the Eagles took control in convincing fashion for their first win of the season, 24-9.
Springstead (1-3) didn't win without some cost though. Starting running back Devean Huff, a 1,000-yard rusher from last year, went down with an ankle injury in the second quarter after rushing only seven times for 24 yards.
"Devean reinjured an ankle," Springstead coach Bill Vonada said. "(The offense) definitely would have been slowed, but we had enough guys to carry the load for us instead."
When Huff went down, the bulk of the offensive load fell on the shoulders of quarterback Brian Beeker (2-for-10, 41 yards, one touchdown, no interceptions, 20 carries, 146 yards, one touchdown). The nimble quarterback did not disappoint. He accounted for both first-half touchdowns — a 60-yard run in the first quarter and a 5-yard scoring pass to Taylor Minter right before the half to put the Eagles up 17-7 going into the locker room.
Lecanto (1-3) was coming off the program's biggest win in more than a decade when it defeated Citrus 35-0 last week. The momentum seemed to carry over early on as its shotgun-option attack resulted in a 45-yard opening drive touchdown. After that, Springstead's defense put a stranglehold on the contest.
"The defense has been stepping up the pressure," Vonada said, "and that makes everyone else on the unit better."
Panthers quarterback Addison Holstein turned the ball over three times, including two interceptions and one fumble.
There were five turnovers in all for Lecanto as Springstead swarmed the Panthers after the first drive.