Saturday, September 22, 2018

Football: Nature Coast 32, Springstead 7

SPRING HILL — Here's a tip for the rest of the teams on Nature Coast's schedule: The Sharks are more than just running back Mike Weston.

Weston, who led the state in rushing after two weeks, was a factor in Nature Coast's 32-7 win over Springstead Friday night, but he wasn't the only factor.

Quarterback Fabian Burnett gained 106 yards on 13 carries and scored two touchdowns. Kinyatah Morgan scored on a 24-yard run. And sophomore Isaac Edwards had big runs of 45 and 24 yards in the win.

Weston led all runners with 30 carries for 183 yards and two short touchdown runs.

This is the fourth straight win for Nature Coast in the series.

"They didn't know about our spread," Burnett said. "So they were attacking Mike and it left a lot of holes. Now it's going to be hard for teams to stop me and Mike. And that's not all we have."

Things started just as planned for the Eagles. They drove 65 yards on eight plays and scored on a 28 yard end run by quarterback Nathan Sims. That made it 7-0 until the final seconds of the first quarter.

Nature Coast stumbled out of the gate. They punted and lost a fumble on its first two possessions. Then the Eagles settled down. With seven seconds left in the first, Burnett scored on a keeper from five yards to make it 7-6.

Then came an interception by Dedric Hall that gave the Sharks the ball at the Springstead 49. Two plays later, Morgan scored on a 24 yard run for a 12-7 lead.

Springstead (2-1) fumbled with 3:18 left in the half. Nature Coast (2-1) made that hurt when Burnett scored his second rushing touchdown on a nine yard run three plays later. The extra point was good and the Sharks led 19-7 at halftime.

"They moved it up and down the field and controlled the line of scrimmage," Springstead coach Mike Garofano said. "They kind of exploited our depth and they were way bigger than us up front."

Both teams sputtered in the third quarter. But Nature Coast put together a drive to start the fourth quarter that put the game away. Isaac Edwards, who had only five carries, had a 45-yard run that put the ball on the Springstead 27. Six plays later, Weston scored on a 1-yard run for a 25-7 lead.

Late in the game, Weston added another short touchdown for the final score.

"People just look at Mike but in the grand scheme of things we have four or five guys who can carry the ball," Nature Coast coach Cory Johns said. "It's not just Mike."

Both teams begin district play on Friday. Nature Coast hosts Central and Springstead hosts Mitchell.

Football: Tampa Bay Tech 28, Hillsborough 27

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Published: 09/22/18
Football: Clearwater 34, Mitchell 7

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Football: Largo 35, Countryside 0

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Published: 09/22/18

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Published: 09/21/18

Football: Plant City 24, East Bay 7

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Published: 09/21/18

Football: Clearwater Central Catholic 38, Northeast 17

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