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HomeSportsGame Of The Week In Hernando: Springstead at Nature Coast

Game Of The Week In Hernando: Springstead at Nature Coast

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If there was any doubt what the ‘game of the week’ in Hernando County would be during Week 3, you might want to take a look at the schedule and think again. There’s not much debate on this one for the very fact of history behind the matchup and competitiveness. This would be the 17th time these two teams have met since the 2005 season and below are all the years, scores and winners of each time the Eagles and Sharks have met on the football field. Nature Coast leads the series 12-4.

2020: Nature Coast, 15-3

2019: Springstead, 30-19

2018: Nature Coast, 32-7

2017: Nature Coast, 29-21

2016: Nature Coast, 28-7

2015: Nature Coast, 35-12

2014: Springstead, 23-20

2013: Springstead, 24-7

2012: Nature Coast, 14-7

2011: Nature Coast, 34-3

2010: Nature Coast, 38-7

2009: Nature Coast, 38-9

2008: Nature Coast, 20-15

2007: Nature Coast, 20-0

2006: Nature Coast, 15-10

2005: Springstead, 43-0

Now onto the matchup between the two teams that will likely be running the ball a lot. We start with Nature Coast’s lead tailback in Christian Cromer, who is just a battering ram in the backfield. The 6-foot, 230-pound sophomore tailback has rushed for 296 yards on 36 carries and scored five total touchdowns for the Sharks. More of the complimentary piece to the puzzle for the team is quarterback Ethan Fahey, who has done more of the game manager role than throwing the football around the yard.

And of course expect a lot more of the same when it comes to an offense run by Bill Vonada, who has the controls this season. The former Hernando and Springstead head coach has been named the offensive coordinator for the 2021 season and the same dividends are already starting to pay off for the Eagles. It’s a multi-faceted attack on the ground and Vonada employs three different tailbacks touching the ball, including Cross Licht, Owen Andress and Derrick Chiarella. Quarterback Ayden Ferguson is another signal caller that does a lot of the game managing for Springstead like Fahey does for the Sharks.

One big X-Factor that may play the biggest role in this one is the talent level at the second level on defense, as Nature Coast has one of the best linebacking groups around. Junior backer Brady Nowlan leads this group along with Caleb Murray and sophomore Carlos Mendez. One reason this could be a major factor in the game is the front seven for the Sharks could pose some issues for the Eagles’ offensive line in creating space for their running backs. This game is always very competitive and I can’t imagine in 2021 anything being different about it.

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PREDICTION: Nature Coast 23, Springstead 22


Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.

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