By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports staff writer
Four games are on the slate this Friday night when Hernando County football teams take the field and amongst all of the matchups taking place, the most intriguing one looks to be over in Spring Hill. That’s where the surging Hernando Leopards will travel to face the improving Springstead Eagles in a game that has shaped up into being a competitive contest despite the latter’s start to the season. The last time Hernando and Springstead stepped on the field together was in 2019, when the Eagles came away with a 19-16 double-overtime victory. Now fast forward to this season and the Leopards are on a roll. Springstead is coming off an impressive win over Inverness Citrus and has gotten better with every game they’ve played. We take a closer look at the matchup between Hernando and Springstead.
Contae Cason on pace for 1,000 yards
The Central transfer is well on his way to rushing for over 1,000 yards on the season and Hernando is only going to play six games this fall. The Leopards will get a playoff game against Tarpon Springs, which should absolutely add to his season totals. Cason has really been a one-man wrecking crew at the running back position, as the senior has rushed for 650 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. Against a feisty Springstead defense, Hernando will have their work cut out for them in getting Cason plenty of carries and a bunch of yards. The Leopards’ offense goes as Cason goes.
Springstead turning the corner
Remember those Eagles that started off the season with a surprising 13-6 loss against upstart Weeki Wachee? Well, don’t look now, as Springstead is turning the corner after playing three games so far. It was always expected that Mike Garofano and his experienced coaching staff wouldn’t let the team slide too much, despite the club missing the first couple of games due to a coronavirus case. Now the Eagles look to be rocking and rolling, with Springstead’s recent 40-0 win over Inverness Citrus, Garofano’s bunch could be on the upset trail themselves when they face Hernando.
Playoff push for both teams
In such a unique year in which every high school team outside of independent schools, is eligible for the postseason which includes both Hernando and Springstead. Each school is looking to make a splash come playoff time, with the Leopards slated to play Tarpon Springs and the Eagles will face the winner of a play-in matchup between St. Petersburg Northeast and Clearwater Countryside. This is the time for teams to really start gelling heading into the playoffs, as the final few regular-season games are looming large. Question is, can Hernando and Springstead continue the strong push to November for playoff football?
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at an[email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.