The regular season for prep football in Hernando County is finally over for Hernando, Nature Coast, Weeki Wachee, Central, and Springstead as they finish the 2020 campaign this week. All five of Hernando County’s squads will be in action for the postseason and the Sharks, Hornets, Leopards, Bears, and Eagles hope to advance a little closer to playing near Thanksgiving week. We take a closer look at the playoff matchups on tap for Friday night November 13th.
Nature Coast vs. Orlando Bishop Moore: Hernando County’s best against an Orlando-area powerhouse equals not favorable results for the former. Last season the Sharks faced state power Orlando Jones and were dispatched in the region semifinal. Now the Sharks will face the Hornets in the opening round and this will be a doozy. The Sharks are getting good play from a somewhat more balanced offense, guided by quarterback Ethan Fahey. Fahey is surrounded by playmakers Dedric Hall, Kinyatah Morgan, and Anthony Trepen. Nature Coast is averaging well over 200 yards on the ground per game, but it will be on defense where the Sharks will need to play their best. The Hornets are led by quarterback Luke Hedrick, who has thrown for 1,557 yards and 16 touchdowns against just three interceptions.
Hernando vs. Tarpon Springs: If there’s a very uneven matchup involving a Hernando County team against a club from another county, this would be it. The Leopards will go up against Tarpon Springs, a Spongers’ team whose only win came against New Port Richey Gulf 16-0. Now Hernando comes into the game with one of Hernando County’s most dynamic playmakers in Contae Cason, who has rushed for nearly 700 yards and will continue to increase his totals. If there’s one game you can almost bank on the Hernando County team winning, this would be it.
Weeki Wachee vs. Zephyrhills: Probably the best on paper matchup of any postseason games would be the one between Weeki Wachee and Zephyrhills. The Hornets are playing some of their best football at this time, especially in the last few games. Close calls against Lecanto and Crystal River, along with wins over Springstead and Tampa Bay Christian Academy have sprung new life into the program. The Bulldogs on the other end is also playing some good ball as of late. Zephyrhills is coming off a 26-0 victory over Class 1A power Hawthorne and defeated a good New Port Richey River Ridge team. Hard to say who would be the favorite in this contest.
Central vs. Holiday Anclote (Play-in playoff game): The Bears have not played in three weeks due to coronavirus, but will manage to play in one more contest this season against Pasco County opponent, Holiday Anclote. Despite the Bears having not scored a point this season, Central will make the playoffs based on all FHSAA-eligible teams getting into postseason play. Anclote has managed to win two games this season against New Port Richey Gulf and Tarpon Springs. The Bears will be hard-pressed to get past the opening round.
Springstead vs. winner of St. Petersburg Northeast/Clearwater Countryside: The Eagles will face the winner of the St. Petersburg Northeast and Clearwater Countryside matchup for their first playoff game. The Cougars have the edge over the Vikings, as they defeated Northeast 31-24 during the regular season. The game will be a toss-up as it’s a play-in game going into the postseason. Springstead started off slow to start the regular season, but the Eagles have stepped up as of late. The Eagles have played better as the season moved on, with quarterback Dante Young guiding the offense.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.
Error: In the original article, Central and Springstead were not mentioned as playoff teams.