TARPON SPRINGS — Tarpon Springs running back Michael Ford had five touchdowns on 10 touches in the Spongers’ 63-32 rout of Dixie Hollins on Friday.
Ford had eight rushes for 167 yards and four touchdowns (59, 37, 11 and 24 yards), and caught two passes for 56 yards and a 19-yard touchdown. The Spongers (6-4) rushed for 292 yards as a team and had 122 yards through the air against the Rebels (2-8).
Ford started with a 59-yard touchdown run. Then Collin Walser blocked a Dixie Hollins punt to set up Montel Johnson’s 23-yard touchdown run. Walser then recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff to give Tarpon Springs the ball at the 30. Mitchell Wilcox caught a 15-yard TD pass from Jarrett Battyanyi as the Spongers took a 21-0 lead.
After sitting out the first quarter, Dixie Hollins’ Tyrie Adams tried to lead the Rebels back. He threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jacquez Hill, but Ford answered with a 37-yard TD run. After the Spongers recovered an onside kick, Johnson capped the drive with a 2-yard run for a 35-6 lead.
The Spongers defense struggled once Adams entered the game. The Rebels quarterback was 21-for-32 for 404 yards passing with five touchdowns.
Tarpon Springs will travel to Anclote next week for its first-round playoff matchup.