SPRING HILL — Springstead left no doubt about its intentions with an offensive barrage out of the gates Friday night, but whether the Eagles would clinch their first playoff berth since 2005 was not in their hands.
Springstead defeated Central 42-7 at the Bear Den, but the team needed Gainesville to beat Lake Weir and West Port to defeat Lecanto. The Purple Hurricanes obliged with a 23-0 win and the Wolf Pack won as well, 27-7.
"We've always looked at it as you control what you can control," Springstead coach Bill Vonada said, "and I guess we looked at it that way for this game, too."
Brian Beeker and Devean Huff, the go-to seniors on offense all season, were as potent as ever. Vonada shed some light on the anonymous offensive line that goes under the radar so often.
"The big boys up front deserve a lot of the credit," Vonada said. "They really did the job tonight."
Behind those five guys, Huff scored three times in the first half and finished with 20 carries for 117 yards and two scores on the ground and one 35-yard catch for a touchdown.
Besides tossing that touchdown pass to his running back, Beeker also ran the option to perfection. He was 6-of-7 for 91 yards and had 15 carries for 169 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown scamper.
The nail in the coffin for Central (2-7) came in the third quarter when the Bears were punting inside their 10-yard line. Devon Emery's attempt was blocked by Lou Wendelstedt and returned by Austin Howell 4 yards to put Springstead (5-5) up 35-7.
Central tailback Jeremy Williams, in only his first season playing varsity ball, finished with 126 yards on 18 carries against one of the area's toughest units.