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South Sumter blanks Citrus to win district

South Sumter quarterback Clint Hart threw touchdown passes of 29 and 66 yards in the first 4 minutes of a 20-0 victory over Citrus High that clinched a third consecutive 4A-District 6 title for the Raiders Friday night.

But wait. Haven't folks in Citrus County seen this before? Sure have.

Two weeks ago, South Sumter scored 14 points in the first 4 minutes of a 28-7 victory over Crystal River. Each of the previous two seasons the Raiders beat Citrus to clinch a district title. And both of those were shutouts too.

So, Citrus and Crystal River, the bitterest of county rivals, will play in two weeks for the right to go to the state playoffs as the district runner-up. Again.

Okay, one thing was different about Friday night's game. At least the Citrus offense made it onto the field between South Sumter touchdowns, even if it was only to go three-and-out.

South Sumter (5-1 overall, 2-0 in 4A-6) burned the Citrus secondary twice on similar plays as Hart twice found Matt Simmons open over the middle in single coverage. Bo Morrison added a pair of extra points for a 14-0 lead with 8:01 left in the first quarter.

While Citrus (5-3, 1-1) shored up its defense for the next 35 minutes, the Hurricanes offense failed to take advantage of its opportunities. Four trips inside the South Sumter 20-yard-line resulted in two failed field goal attempts, an interception in the end zone and an incomplete pass thrown through the back of the end zone on Citrus' possession.

The Raiders added a third touchdown with just under 9 minutes to play when, on fourth-and-goal at the Citrus 5, South Sumter lined up in a power-I formation only to have Hart roll out and dash for the corner of the end zone. He beat the nearest defender to seal the victory.