Thursday, April 26, 2018
Sports

Football: Springstead 35, Mitchell 0

SPRING HILL — Despite less than ideal conditions at Booster Stadium on Friday night, Springstead finished the game the same way it entered — undefeated.

The Eagles stuck to the ground attack while dealing with 25 mph winds and toppled Mitchell 35-0 in a homecoming victory.

Although the team didn't know it when the game ended, the Eagles clinched the Class 6A, District 6 title because of Hernando's win over Nature Coast.

The game did not start in the best way for Springstead (9-0, 5-0) as new kick returner Curtis Cadwalader slipped on his 2 while receiving the ball. However, three first downs later, the Eagles had put a dent into the field position. The defense, like it has all season, handled things from there.

Mitchell (6-3, 3-3) struggled to move the ball. The Mustangs had the same number of first downs (10) as their opponent, but the offense never got into the red zone.

"Our defensive coaches looked at a bunch of schemes like they do every week," Springstead coach Bill Vonada said, "but in the end, they decided to stick with what got us here."

With leading rusher Christian Trinidad out with a broken nose and concussion, junior Nate Boler handled the bulk of the carries. He entered with only 23 carries for 120 yards on the season but toted the ball 21 times Friday for 82 yards.

The conditions also hurt special teams. The Mustangs didn't bother bringing out the placekicker when they did get deep into Springstead territory. Springstead's Luke McLeod registered an 11-yard punt, while Mitchell's John Schwindt booted punts of 9, 16 and 7 yards into the wind.

Eagles quarterback Tyler Mahla had a career-best performance while carrying the load as leading rusher Daniel Wright spent most of the game on the sidelines. He suffered through the week with flu-like symptoms and missed most of practice.

"The option offense is all about making the right read," Vonada said. "Sometimes that means keeping the ball, and Tyler does a good job of doing that most of the time."

Mahla had career highs of 15 carries for 151 yards and two touchdowns. He also did damage through the air, going 3-of-5 for 48 yards and one touchdown. Latavious Hannah, who saw the majority of the time at running back, had 101 total yards and a touchdown.

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