By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports reporter
Photography by JOE DICRISTOFALO
CLERMONT- Two schools were looking to make history in last Friday’s Class 6A, District 5 championship between Lake Minneola and Springstead.
For Lake Minneola, they were looking to do something the football program has never done before and that was to win a district championship. The Hawks at home knew the pressure was on to win the football program’s first ever district crown against an 8-0 Eagles’ team.
On the other side of the spectrum was Springstead. Undefeated at 8-0 and looking to make a little bit of their own history. The Eagles were aiming to win their first district title since the 2013 season and were hoping to take another step in the right direction when it came down to completing a 10-0 regular season.
It would end up being the former coming into fruition, as the Hawks held off the Eagles in a thrilling 26-21 win for Lake Minneola. With the loss, Springstead falls to 8-1 on the season, but does remain on pace to clinch a berth in the Class 6A postseason. The Eagles will finish up the regular season this Friday when they go on the road to face Central.
Stopping Lake Minneola running back Keyandre Magloire was the key for Springstead if they were going to pull off the win on the road, but the Eagles were not able to slow him down. Magloire ended the game with 187 yards on 18 carries and scored three touchdowns. Springstead hasn’t allowed any rusher at any point this season to reach such totals, but Magloire proved to be the difference maker in the game.
Not for a lack of finding its own success in the ground game, Springstead was able to counter with Anthony Alexis, who ended the contest rushing for 105 yards on 17 carries. The Eagles were able to notch 341 yards of offense against the Hawks, but a late rally by Springstead ended up falling short. In a season that started with a 53-0 victory over Sunlake, Springstead has met most expectations other than winning a district championship.
For the Eagles, defeating Nature Coast early on and rushing off to a unprecedented 8-0 start was something not everyone foresaw before the 2019 season began. Springstead has remained Hernando County’s most consistent prep football team throughout the season, as they’ve relied heavily on two things: great defense and a solid rushing attack. With those two areas checked off, Springstead has always had a chance in each of its nine games.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.