SPRING HILL — The scene after the Ocala West Port-Springstead game Friday night said everything.
With the Eagles huddled around coach Bill Vonada, they knew the game was important on a few different levels.
Not just for keeping their slim playoff hopes alive. But also they wanted to win the game for Vonada, whose father died earlier in the day.
His players responded with passion, and behind several big plays from quarterback Brian Beeker and defensive back Karlos Delgado, won 31-28 in a crucial district game at Booster Stadium.
"I know my (dad) is watching down on us and smiling right now," Vonada said. "It was just an unbelievable effort on both sides. We felt like it was going to be a tight game coming down to one play and I guess it did."
And it seemed like it was big play after big play from both sides.
The Wolfpack struck first on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Arsenio Villard (13-of-21, 145 yards) to CJ Pinkston to take an early 7-0 lead. Springstead (4-4, 2-1) answered with a 10-play, 60-yard drive that culminated in a Devean Huff (27 carries, 133 yards) 6-yard score to tie the game at 7.
Both teams traded touchdowns until halftime with the score tied at 21.
West Port took the lead with a 13-play, 63-yard drive ending on a Villard 2-yard score with 3:36 left in the game.
Beeker delivered one of his big plays after running right and finding a cutback lane to the left side and scampering 47 yards to the house to gain the 31-28 advantage.
Earlier in the game Delgado picked off a Villard pass and with 38.9 remaining blocked West Port's 28-yard tying field goal to ignite the Eagles' sideline into jubilation.
"It's playoff time and I had to block it," Delgado said.