SPRING HILL- Playing on a Monday night is a rarity for high school football teams.
Because inclement weather plays a factor in games, shuffling them around to odd dates has become the norm in the last few years. On Monday night at Booster Stadium, Springstead welcomed Citrus into town for the Hurricanes’ opener. It was just the kind of warm-up the Eagles needed heading into Friday’s rivalry game against Nature Coast. The Eagles rolled up over 300 yards of offense en route to defeating Citrus 49-14 to even their record to 1-1.
Springstead has little time to rest as they have to prepare for a quick turnaround when they face their rival later in the week. “It’s definitely going to be a quick turnaround for us,” Springstead Head Coach Mike Garofano said. “It affects your practice plans. You don’t know how physical you can really be. Probably just going to be a lot of helmets and film review kind of stuff. To have just a couple practices and putting together a quick game plan, I thought we played pretty well.”
Coming off a tough 14-6 season-opening loss to a very talented Eau Gallie team, Springstead made sure they came hot right out of the gates versus Citrus. The scoring started early and often for the Eagles (1-1) when running back Connor Mccazzio scored on a 3-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game. Springstead’s next touchdown came offensively when linebacker Derrick Chiarella returned a Tyler Jones’ pass 24 yards to pay dirt to give the Eagles a 14-0 lead.
It wouldn’t be too much longer for Springstead to get back on the board when Mccazzio scored on a 40-yard run to put the Eagles ahead 21-0. The Eagles exited the quarter ahead 28-0, and the rest of the game was never in doubt. Mccazzio led all rushers with 104 yards on 11 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Mike Garofano’s defense never let up against Citrus’ Jones in the backfield as they harassed the Hurricanes signal caller all night long. Jones ended the game with three interceptions but did throw for 222 yards and two touchdowns for Citrus.
Citrus (0-1) debuted new Head Coach Joshua Ross, and his team found it difficult to move the ball against a feisty Springstead defense on the ground. The Hurricanes rushed for a total of negative five yards on the night. “Offensively, we didn’t have to do much the first couple of touchdowns,” Garofano added. “It was a nice way to start the game. We had some guys in late that gave up a couple touchdowns. Everyone had a chance to play. We got to rest a lot of guys that really needed it.”