Photography by CHERYL CLANTON
Four games are on the slate this Friday night when Hernando County football teams take the field and among all of the matchups taking place, the most intriguing one looks to be over in Spring Hill. That’s where the undefeated Nature Coast Sharks will travel the short distance to take on the Springstead Eagles in a game that is usually a very competitive one. The difference this time around is the amount of time the Sharks have already had on the field compared to the Eagles, who had their season delayed by two weeks due to Covid-19. The last time Springstead started off a season 0-2 was back in 2010 when they lost to Hernando and Nature Coast in back to back weeks. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup between Nature Coast and Springstead.
Nature Coast clicking on all cylinders
This offense is humming in every facet and the 320 yards per game is one example of its effectiveness. Quarterback Ethan Fahey has been borderline perfect to start off the season, as he has 341 yards passing and eight touchdowns to just one interception. The running game has been just as good with running back, Anthony Trepen, leading the way at 280 yards and three touchdowns. Kinyatah Morgan has been a steady compliment with 152 yards on eight carries.
Run game reigns supreme
Both teams have historically known to heavily rely on the run game and this season hasn’t changed much on whether they’ve gone to the air more. As a team, Nature Coast has rushed for 607 yards on 68 carries and are averaging 202.3 per game as a team. Between Trepen (280 yards), Morgan (152 yards), and Dedric Hall (104 yards), the Sharks have one of the more dynamic rushing attacks around. Though Fahey has surprised many throwing the football very effectively, make no mistake the first thing the Sharks want to establish is running the ball.
Springstead must find themselves
An early 13-6 loss to Weeki Wachee this season has set the Eagles back in what will be a 6-game regular season for Springstead and now they face a very good Nature Coast team coming off a 34-28 win over Hernando. The last time the Eagles started off 0-2 was in 2010 and they could be very well on their way to the second time in a decade. Springstead has plenty of coaching experience on its staff between Mike Garofano and Bill Vonada, so the Eagles will need to find themselves quickly with teams like Inverness Citrus, Hernando, Central, and Lecanto remaining on the schedule.
Andy Villamarzo can be reached at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.