Hernando captured a meeting of 5A-7 and county foes, downing Weeki Wachee (0-7 overall, 0-4 5A-7), 24-0. Quarterback Scott Bierwiler completed 7-of-9 passes for 106 yards, and rushed 10 times for 63 yards and two touchdowns for the Leopards (3-3 overall, 2-2 5A-7). David Hale Bronson ran for 91 yards and a score.
“Defensively, we played pretty well, especially in the first half. Offensively, we did a few things well but we hurt ourselves with penalties.” Hernando head coach Bill Vonada said. “The second half we hit some nice plays. Scottie Bierwiler made some great decisions tonight.
“It was just a great job of containing. They did hurt us once or twice. For the most part we did a good job of keeping things bottled up and getting to the football. It was just guys doing their jobs, and then getting off blocks and flying to the football.”
Another week, another blowout over a district opponent for Nature Coast.
The Sharks came into Friday night’s game at Lecanto with their top two rushers, T.J. Owens and quarterback Brian Haygood, significantly hobbled by ankle injuries. It didn’t matter, as they still trounced the host Panthers, 68-14.
“We started slow, very complacent,” Nature Coast head coach Justin Worden said. “We talked to them about the big picture at halftime, go out, have fun and get fired up. They came out and played like it in the second half, and we put them away.”
With Owens out and Haygood mostly sticking to defense, it was sophomore Michael Weston’s turn to be the featured back. He ended up with a career performance, 30 carries for 282 yards and five touchdowns. Willie Coffey added 71 yards and a touchdown.
Dante Washington scored twice, once on an interception return and the other on a punt return. Dajour Morgan recorded 11 tackles, while Matthew Robinson and Zachary Powell had 10 apiece.
The Sharks (7-0) only led 22-14 at halftime but pulled away to improve to 4-0 in Class 5A, District 7. A victory over Citrus this Friday would clinch a second straight district crown.
Springstead put itself on solid footing in pursuit of a playoff spot in 6A-6, beating Land O’ Lakes, 42-10. The visiting Eagles (3-2 overall, 2-1 6A-6) received a huge night out of Demetrius Barry, as he rushed for 299 yards and two scores. Nathan Sims added two rushing touchdowns, while Jordan Wright ran for one and threw one to Randy Morgan.
On Monday, Trevor Foley and Hernando captured the Hernando/Citrus Classic at McKethan Lake, a cross country meet rescheduled from the previous Thursday due to Hurricane Matthew.
The Leopards totaled a 46, ahead of Lecanto in second at 51. The junior Foley ran 15:26.90 to easily cross the finish line ahead of the field. He was helped by teammates Ryan Bell (fifth, 17:35.99) and Ross Stalcup (sixth, 17:37.15).
Nature Coast had the county’s highest placing on the girls side, in third (67) and paced by Leah Marville’s fourth-place 20:56.49. Central’s Rayna King came in second with a 20:24.32.
Foley again garnered the top spot in Saturday’s Crystal River Invitational, running a 17:19. Bell came in fifth (18:12) and Stalcup seventh (18:35), though this time Lecanto bested Hernando, 59-64.
Springstead’s Isabel Somavilla pulled off the county’s best female performance with an eighth-place (23:02.17), as the Lady Eagles finished seventh overall (172).
In the final week of the volleyball regular season, Springstead upset county champ Hernando on Tuesday, 25-20, 17-25, 25-21, 25-22, behind 25 kills from Alexis Thompson and 43 assists by Elise Crowell. Jennifer Aten added 13 kills, while Ali Bronson had 17 to lead the Lady Leopards.
The Lady Eagles (12-11) lost to Mitchell on Monday, 25-22, 25-21, 25-22, and Crystal River on Wednesday, 25-22, 25-21, 25-23. They knocked off Citrus on Thursday, 25-23, 25-11, 17-25, 25-17.
Hernando (15-6) bounced back to beat Gulf on Thursday, 25-21, 25-17, 25-22, and enters this week’s 6A-7 Tournament at Crystal River as the second seed behind the host Lady Pirates.
Weeki Wachee (16-8) is seeded third, followed by Nature Coast as the fourth seed. The Lady Sharks (13-8) finished their regular season with a 25-16, 25-18, 21-25, 25-21 win over Ridgewood on Tuesday.
Follow Chris Bernhardt Jr. on Twitter @cpbernhardtjr.