By Andy Villamarzo
Hernando Sun sports reporter
CLERMONT- One of the most well put together seasons in all of Springstead’s varsity football campaigns came to a crashing end last Friday when they faced Lake Minneola for a second time.
In what became a rematch of the Class 6A, District 5 championship game quickly turned into a rout. Lake Minneola jumped out to a huge lead at home and cruised past Springstead 42-12 in a Class 6A, Region 2 quarterfinal matchup. Springstead ends the season at 9-2, ending one of the most successful runs in school history.
After starting the season at 8-0, Springstead (9-2) traveled to Lake Minneola for Week 10 in hopes of continuing its undefeated march to 10-0 and potentially hosting a home playoff game. Instead, the Eagles fell 26-21 and were forced to go on the road for the rematch against the Hawks.
The rematch definitely wasn’t kind to the Eagles and nor was the all out rushing clinic the Hawks put out on display. Lake Minneola was able to run the ball practically at will against Springstead’s bend-but-don’t-break defense. Hawks’ running back Kyeandre Magloire was the player to stop- the Eagles seemingly had zero answers for him.
Magloire rushed for a school-record 313 yards and scored five touchdowns in the win for Lake Minneola. In the first meeting between the two teams, the signs were there that Magloire could explode for a big game, as he went off for 178 yards in the 26-21 contest. The second time around exposed the run defense for Springstead that’s been relatively good against teams in Hernando and Citrus counties.
The very run game that Springstead has relied upon all year long was clamped down by the Hawks’ defense, as the Eagles were held to 62 yards rushing. Not only was Springstead having trouble running the football, but throwing it became an issue as well. Two of Max O’Rourke’s passes were intercepted early on and from there the rout was on for Lake Minneola.
Despite the loss in the region quarterfinal game, there’s a lot to look forward to for Springstead coming off a 9-2 campaign. Yes, the Eagles will be losing several key seniors, including O’Rourke, running back Anthony Alexis and linebacker Adrian Cabrera, but Springstead also returns a slew of experienced returners as well. This team should be back in the hunt come 2020 in Class 6A, District 5.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.