By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports reporter
SPRING HILL- It’s all or nothing when it comes down to Friday night’s Class 6A, District 5 championship game between Springstead and Lake Minneola.
Both teams have been able to defeat the other district foes Lecanto and Dade City Pasco and now the Eagles are aiming to pull off the program’s best record since the 2013 season when they reached the region final versus Seffner Armwood, before being upended 41-0.
Now the Eagles are not only in a prime position to win a district championship, but also to pull off notching a 10-0 regular season in the process. Springstead could win its first district crown since the 2013 season, but to do it they will have to head on the road and beat Lake Minneola at their place.
Coming off a 42-24 victory over Groveland South Lake just a week ago, Springstead is well versed when it comes to winning on the road this season. The Eagles will have to do so against a Hawks’ team that was able to defeat Dade City Pasco 49-7 and Lecanto 75-6. Springstead defeated Pasco narrowly 10-3 and got by Lecanto 40-0.
Though the scores of how Lake Minneola and Springstead were able to beat Lecanto and Pasco may not mean much when both teams hit the field on Friday night, it speaks to how each club plays on the field offensively. The Hawks are more of a running team and rely on the talents of tailback Keyandre Magloire. Magloire was explosive in Lake Minneola’s blowout victory over East Ridge as the running back rushed for 252 yards in the win.
Magloire has paired with starting quarterback Devon Cole to form a dangerous backfield for Lake Minneola and Springstead’s defense will have to focus on stopping the run game of the Hawks. The heart and soul of Springstead’s defense is senior linebacker Adrian Cabrera, who will likely end up doubling up at fullback duties on the offensive side of the ball.
On the offensive end for Springstead, it’s been no secret for opponents that the Eagles’ home run hitter is running back Anthony Alexis. Alexis has rushed for 948 yards and scored nine touchdowns this season. The other threat on the ground for the Eagles is Toby Rahman, who has rushed for 408 yards, which is good for second on the team in rushing. Springstead quarterback Max O’Rourke has had a nice season so far and has passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.