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Hernando runs Citrus into ground 35-12

Behind Matt Deason's three touchdowns and 268 rushing yards from Eric Riggins, Hernando High ran every which way including loose Friday night in a 35-12 victory over Citrus.

Junior tailback Riggins rushed 16 times, including nine first-half carries that produced 231 yards and two touchdowns, as the Leopards went ahead 22-6. He had four runs of more than 20 yards, including TDs covering 38 and 22.

Fullback Deason scored on runs of 1, 4 and 10 yards, finishing with 13 carries for 63 yards.

And senior quarterback Shad Reese added another 110 yards on 15 carries, sending Hernando into next Friday's Class 4A, District 7 title showdown against Pasco with a 7-1 record and plenty of run-propelled momentum.

"Their offense is real good," Citrus coach Ken Berry said of a unit that rolled up 470 yards, including 436 on the ground. "They've got size up front, speed and they read the option well. I think they'll give Pasco a good game."

Unfortunately, Berry couldn't say the same of his Hurricanes against Hernando.

"They always play very good defense and they're physical usually," Hernando coach Mike Imhoff said of Citrus, which lost its fourth straight game in falling to 5-4, "but like their coach said, we've just got a heckuva offense."

Citrus quarterback Troy Waller scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter and fellow quarterback Brian Turner added a 19-yard TD run early in the third quarter to make it 22-12.

But after a trade of punts, Deason scored his second touchdown early in the fourth quarter and Hernando's defense shut down Citrus the rest of the way.

Hernando kicker Mike Mixson hit two extra-point tries, had one blocked, and made a 20-yard field goal that capped a 96-yard, eight-play drive late in the first perioda

The drive was highlighted by a 57-yard gain in which Reese, starting at Hernando's own 5-yard line, ran 54 yards before pitching to Riggins for 3 more yards.