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HomeSportsFootballEagles Crush Cougars in Senior Night District Quarterfinal

Eagles Crush Cougars in Senior Night District Quarterfinal

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What a game for the Red, White, and Blue. On an afternoon when everyone was focusing on the impending solar eclipse, the Springstead Eagles (10-4) were readying for their first district playoff in flag football. Their opponent: Countryside High. The Cougars (4-11) came into the Eagles’ Den against a senior-laden buzzsaw and left following a 36-0 defeat on Monday. Springstead Head Coach Andrew Sitar discussed his squad’s approach after the game.

 

 

“We came out super focused tonight,” said Coach Sitar. “It is the first game of the district playoffs. [We] wanted to come out and play our game. So, we came out focused. […] going into our first ever district playoff. Girls are super excited about it, and we are excited for the next round.”

 

The home team was on fire from the word go. The offense executed four drives in the first half and found their way into the endzone on each one. Springstead received the ball first, quickly drove down the field, and capped off the possession with a 10-yard touchdown pass over the middle from Sophomore QB J’Ziyah Munford to Senior WR/LB Samantha Suarez.

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One of nine seniors on this Eagles’ squad, Suarez was on the receiving end of three first half passing scores from “JZ”. Not to be understated, the Eagles’ sensational sophomore signal caller was described by her coach as “electric when she is on the field.”

 

Suarez was not the only upperclassman to shine on Monday, though, as WR Malanie Francis had had in the team’s third jaunt into paydirt, when she hauled in long pass that originated from near midfield. She carried the ball down to about the four-yard line before one of Suarez’s drive capping touchdown catches. Francis located the ball over a defender’s head in the endzone on the next play for the extra point, too.

 

Springstead High, 10, Malanie Francis leaps for a reception during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 10, Malanie Francis leaps for a reception during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]

Senior Ava Kanaar “did a great job for us as well on both sides of the ball,” according to Coach Sitar, as she sprinted across the goal line on a reverse from inside the redzone. Her first half score fittingly made it so all the home team’s first half scores were by seniors on senior night. The defense deserves praise as well as Senior Jenna Ludwig and company forced a safety, a pair of second half three-and-outs and held the Cougars scoreless.

 

“Jenna Ludwig is a serious competitor,” Coach Sitar said. “[She has] done it for us for the last two years and tonight she had a heck of a game on senior night […] She held down our defense tonight on the rush. I believe she had six sacks.”

 

The defense constantly put the offense in advantageous positions especially after the intermission, and they even gave Munford and company an extra possession with the sacking of Sophomore Sammy Fernandez late in the third quarter. This set up the offense near midfield as Munford turned a first and 10 into a one play, 43-yard touchdown run by the phenomenal quarterback. This finished off the scoring in a complete clobbering of the Cougars on senior night.

 

Monday’s matchup gave the Eagles their fourth win in their last five outings and allowed them a de facto tune-up game before advancing to the district semifinals on Tuesday. Coach Sitar and company will look to maintain their focus and attention to detail as they continue through the postseason.

 

“[We] game planned pretty much the same,” Springstead’s head coach said. “Our goal is, of course, to execute the small things, just execute our offense, being hyper focused on our game and the game flowed for us really well tonight […] Just continue to stay in our lane. Do the small things really well and continue to play focused flag football.”

 

Springstead High, 3, Tija Holland stretches for extra yardage before having her flag pulled by a Countryside defender during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 3, Tija Holland stretches for extra yardage before having her flag pulled by a Countryside defender during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 2, Jenna Ludwig pulls the flag of the Countryside High QB resulting in a safety and two points for the Eagles. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 2, Jenna Ludwig pulls the flag of the Countryside High QB resulting in a safety and two points for the Eagles. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 11, Samantha Suarez launches a pass in the Eagles 36-0 win at home over visiting Countryside High in a 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 11, Samantha Suarez launches a pass in the Eagles 36-0 win at home over visiting Countryside High in a 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 13, J’Ziyah Munford tries to avoid having her flag pulled by a Countryside defender during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 13, J’Ziyah Munford tries to avoid having her flag pulled by a Countryside defender during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 13, J’Ziyah Munford rushes through the Countryside defense during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]
Springstead High, 13, J’Ziyah Munford rushes through the Countryside defense during the Eagles 36-0 win at home in the 2A District 14 playoff match. Photo by [Joseph Dicristofalo]

Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch
Austyn Szempruch is a Graduate with Distinction, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications. He's written numerous articles reporting on Florida Gators football, basketball, and soccer teams; the sports of rugby, basketball, professional baseball, hockey, and the NFL Draft. Prior to Hernando Sun he was a contributor to ESPN, Gainesville, FL and Gator Country Multimedia, Inc. in Gainesville, FL, and Stadium Gale.
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