There was plenty of good matchups that took place last Friday night, Sept. 22, 2017, in Hernando County, as everyone around returned to normalcy and resumed its regular season. We take a look back at all the games that took in and outside of the county.
Nature Coast 19, Crystal River 7
It's four weeks into the season and Nature Coast is already looking mid-season form defensively, despite playing in only two games. The Sharks were able to use an opportunistic defense and roll to a 19-7 win over district rival Crystal River last Friday.
"You always want to win and it's great," Nature Coast coach Cory Johns said. "I didn't feel like we played very well offensively. I did think we did play well on defense except on that last drive. That touchdown they scored was my fault. Offensively we had eight penalties and I think that was some laziness. I thought we did throw the ball very well.
The Sharks (2-0, 1-0) got some much needed offense from quarterback Fabian Burnett, as the signal caller went 9-of-12 for 118 yards and rushed 18 times for 112 on the ground. Nature Coast went into intermission tied at 7-7 all, but the Sharks would dominate the second half. Burnett connected with Willie Coffey for a 10-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.
Johns stated it was tough preparing for Crystal River because of the time off due to Hurricane Irma and was worried his staff may have worn them out before last Friday's contest.
"The hard part was how to structure practice without killing them and getting them ready for a football game in four days," Johns added. "We may have worn them out. I don't think we've ever missed that many days."
Hernando 37, Citrus 21
The Leopards kept up their winning ways last Friday and won convincingly on the road in a 37-21 victory over the Hurricanes in Inverness. Hernando improved to 3-0 and 1-0 in Class 5A, District 7 and did so airing out the football. Leopards' quarterback Boston Tafelski threw three first half touchdowns in leading Hernando to the key district win. Hernando is back on the road this week to face Crystal River.
Weeki Wachee 34, Central 33
Win No. 1 for the Hornets and first-year head coach Jacob Gray is in the books, as Weeki Wachee upended their nearby rival Central in a 34-33 thriller. The Hornets were able to win the 'Battle of the Hexam' and now lead the series 4-2 over the Bears.
"The kids were very amped up about it," Gray said about the rivalry game. "The rivalry games pull out a little bit more emotion and after winning a rivalry game, they were on an emotional high. We had to make the kids realize that it was a good win, but we have bigger goals we want to realize."
Weeki Wachee (1-2, 1-0) now hopes to continue its winning ways Friday against Citrus.
Bradenton Lakewood Ranch 23, Springstead 21
A weather delay in the Bradenton area held up Springstead and Lakewood Ranch from facing off. The Eagles were able to take a 14-7 lead into halftime, but were not able to control the second half. The Mustangs ripped off 16 second half points and defeated the Eagles 23-21. Springstead (2-1) moves forward and will face Sunlake this Friday.
Follow Andy Villamarzo on Twitter @avillamarzo.