Sports notebook: Central wins second straight

Photography by Alice Mary Herden

It was a startling revelation to Central head coach Chris Sands, but nonetheless true. The last time the Bears won back-to-back football games came in 2008.
That all changed on Friday night, when Central won for the second week in a row, trouncing host Lecanto, 35-21.
More importantly for the Bears (3-2 overall), it pushed their record to 2-1 in Class 5A, District 7 after a brutal opening district loss at Nature Coast two weeks ago.
They had to overcome a flu bug that Sands said impacted six players, causing defensive back Dominique Walker to miss the game entirely. Linebacker Klayvon Clark suffered a knee injury in the first series and did not return, leaving the team without two of its top defenders.
“The defense got off the field on third down and I’m really proud of them,” Sands said. “Just the effort in general was really good and that was great to see.”
To the surprise of no one, senior running back De’Vonta Smith had another jaw-dropping performance. A week after setting a county record with 491 rushing yards and tying another county mark with eight touchdowns, Smith was nearly as impressive totaling 358 yards on 40 carries and reaching the end zone four times on runs of 95, 56, 1 and 11 yards.
Smith has rushed for at least 235 yards in each of the past four games and has 1,491 yards on the season, to go along with a career-high 20 touchdowns.
Sands also praised the play of quarterback Izzy Zena, who connected with Jonathan Allion for a 23-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter versus Lecanto.
“We’re taking it one game at a time,” Sands said. “We’re considering all our district games playoff games. Win all our remaining district games and we’re going to the playoffs. That’s our ultimate goal. We need to stay focused and hungry and get ready for Citrus (next Friday).”
Also in 5A-7 action, Weeki Wachee fell at Citrus, 47-7. The Hornets (0-5 overall, 0-2 5A-7) scored on a 64-yard pass from Alec Cromie to Sebastian Class in the third quarter, but by that time already trailed 21-0.
Nature Coast has dominated its 5A-7 opponents thus far, but played a non-district contest at home against Lake Wales on Friday. The outcome remained the same, however, with a 31-0 shutout.
Quarterback Brian Haygood ran for 169 yards and a touchdown for the Sharks (5-0), and also connected with Nickinson Sineus on a 29-yard scoring strike. T.J. Owens and Willie Coffey each added rushing touchdowns. Matthew Robinson had 15 tackles.
Springstead suffered a crucial 6A-6 defeat at Sunlake, 31-10. The Eagles (2-2 overall, 1-1 6A-6) actually led 10-3 at the half, behind a 4-yard touchdown run by Randy Morgan and 120 rushing yards by Demetrius Barry. But the Seahawks rattled off 28 unanswered points in the second half.
Weeki Wachee’s volleyball team claimed the first-place trophy in last weekend’s Fivay Invitational Tournament, running the table after an opening loss to Lutz-Steinbrenner, 25-11, 25-13.
The Lady Hornets bounced back with wins over Anclote (25-12, 25-22), Steinbrenner in a rematch (25-19, 21-25, 15-9), Gulf (25-18, 27-25) and Fivay (25-21, 15-25, 17-15).
This week, Weeki Wachee (14-7 overall, 7-2 6A-7) swept Nature Coast on Monday, 25-16, 25-15, 25-20, with Miranda Werkmeister notching 12 kills and Brooke Sereda adding 11. Sarah Asbury had 28 assists. On Wednesday, the Lady Hornets blanked Central, 25-15, 25-18, 25-17.
Hernando (12-5 overall, 7-3 6A-7) lost to Crystal River on Monday, 25-17, 25-17, 25-21, and beat Nature Coast on Tuesday, 25-23, 25-16, 22-25, 25-21.
Nature Coast (11-6 overall 5-4 6A-7) finished up its week on Wednesday with a five-game victory over Crystal River, 25-13, 15-25, 25-23, 12-25, 15-11.
At the Weeki Wachee Invitational at the Weeki Wachee Preserve on Saturday, junior Trevor Foley won the cross country race in a time of 15:51.83. Teammates Ryan Bell (18:16.16) and Ross Stalcup (18:22.61) finished third and fourth respectively, as the Leopards placed second to Sunlake, 39-44.
Nature Coast sophomore Leah Marville was the county’s highest female placer, in fifth (22:26.20). The Lady Sharks finished third overall (100).
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.

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