By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports staff writer
The regular season for prep football in Hernando County heads into Week 6 action and last week’s Week 5 was a wild one for the county. Nature Coast rebounded with a resounding victory while undefeated Springstead was able to fend off an upset by Dade City Pasco group. All five of Hernando County’s squads will be back in action this week and teams will be that much closer to completing the season after this Friday. We take a closer look at all of the Week 6 regular season matchups on tap for Friday night.
Hernando (3-3) at Springstead (5-0): One of Hernando County’s oldest rivalries takes place Friday night at Booster Stadium, as the undefeated Eagles host the Leopards. Springstead is coming off a narrow 10-3 victory over Dade City Pasco last Friday and the offense looked all out of sorts facing an athletic Pirates’ bunch. Nonetheless, the Eagles were able to overcome adversity and pull off their first district victory of the season to start 1-0 in Class 6A, District 5. On the other side of the spectrum, Hernando has put together a 2-game winning streak after starting off the year 1-3. The Leopards have pulled off consecutive wins over Wildwood and Weeki Wachee, respectively. A win over Springstead would catapult Hernando back into serious postseason contention. Both teams love to run the football, so expect plenty of single-wing offense in this matchup between the Leopards and Eagles. Glory Days has designated this game as the ‘Real Burger Bowl’ and will be giving the winner a big trophy. They will also be giving away two scholarships at the game.
Nature Coast (3-3) at New Port Richey River Ridge (3-2): One thing both of these teams have in common? Both lost to Wiregrass Ranch and it wasn’t close in either affair. Now Nature Coast and River Ridge can battle it out and for a non-district matchup, this game will have plenty of implications in regards to each club’s chance of reaching the postseason this fall. The Sharks ran into some speed bumps early on in the season, with losses to Bushnell South Sumter, rival Springstead and the aforementioned Wiregrass Ranch. Nature Coast badly needs a quality road victory if they want back into the Class 5A playoffs. A win against River Ridge would do wonders, as the Royal Knights are coming off a 62-0 thrashing of New Port Richey Gulf. The Sharks will rely on the passing of Fabian Burnett to get on top of River Ridge’s secondary. Nature Coast’s defense will be eyeing Royal Knights’ quarterback Trenton Hawks, who was impressive in last week’s victory over the Buccaneers.
Weeki Wachee (0-5) at Holiday Anclote (2-4): Can the Hornets finally pull off win No. 1 under the watch of first-year head coach Chris Cook? Halfway through the season and Weeki Wachee has come close, but with no cigar so far and each week becomes more difficult than the last. The Hornets have had time to gameplan for Anclote, who is coming off a loss last Friday to Wesley Chapel. The Sharks feature one of the more athletic teams the Hornets will see all season long, so Cook’s defense will be on their heels throughout the evening. The key for Weeki Wachee will be ball control and playing good defense. If the Hornets can win the turnover battle and keep the ball away from Anclote’s offense, Weeki Wachee could walk out of Holiday with a victory.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.