BROOKSVILLE — Every Class 3A, District 6 game for Nature Coast for the remainder of the regular season is do or die for the Sharks.
For the past two weeks, Nature Coast has played that way, and with a 55-8 win over Eustis on Friday night, the Sharks kept their playoff hopes alive.
The normally slow-starting offense for Nature Coast (6-2, 4-2) came out firing on all cylinders. The passing attack clicked in the first half when C.J. Baker (6-of-10, 149 yards, no interceptions) threw all three of his touchdown passes, including two to Jamel Byrd (four catches, 96 yards).
Sharks senior tailback Tevin Drake (25 carries, 218 yards, three touchdowns) used an early first-quarter ramble to surpass 1,000 yards for the third consecutive season. The third quarter was the Drake show when the star running back ran for two touchdowns, both longer than 40 yards. Overall, Eustis (1-8, 1-5) was dominated by the Sharks' rushing attack (52 carries, 420 yards, five touchdowns).
"My (offensive) line came out blocking a little more aggressively (in the second half)," Drake said. "I just ran north-south the way I'm supposed to."
Nature Coast did lose three fumbles. Even with the positive that came in the blowout win at home, it was the miscues that coach Mark Lee talked about after the victory.
"We've got to secure the ball," Lee said, "and the rest will take care of itself."