Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Sports

Football: Nature Coast 31, Hernando 7

BROOKSVILLE — As the weather cleared Friday night so did the running lanes for Nature Coast, which withstood a game-starting deluge and 40-minute lightning delay for an important Class 5A, District 6 victory. Nature Coast put it away with a 21-0 fourth quarter.

Key Drive: With the lead tenuous at 10-7, the Sharks (3-2, 3-0) went 67 yards on 11 carries, ending with DeShawn Smith's 2-yard run on fourth down early in the fourth quarter. He had a 21-yard gain on the drive and Jermaine Green had a big conversion run on third and 8.

Play of the Game: Both teams sloshed through the first half and it looked like the score would be 3-0 (NCT had just 65 yards at the time). Then Sedrick Burkes turned in a sack/forced fumble to give the Sharks the ball at the Hernando 31 with 27 seconds left. Three plays later Green scored from 31 yards away for a 10-0 advantage.

Stars of the Game: Burkes had 2.5 sacks, two tackles for a loss and a big QB pressure for a clinching turnover on downs. Smith ran for 97 yards on two carries while Green finished with 89 and two touchdowns, including a 30-yarder on fourth and 7. Hernando punter Brad Ellis had three 40-plus yarders and a 38-yard effort on a ball that was snapped over his head.

Stats of the Game: Nature Coast did not complete a pass, getting all 309 of its yards on 52 carries. Richard Graham chipped in with 79 yards on 12 attempts. Hernando (1-3, 1-1) only completed three passes itself, though first did account for Hernando's only score when Tyler Kline hit Mark Wilson from 23 yards.

Darek Sharp, Times correspondent