There was plenty of exciting action on the prep football gridiron last week, as Nature Coast and Central started off the slate on Tuesday night and had to suit up again a couple days later. With Hernando off on a bye week, we take a look at games played on Tuesday and Friday nights in Hernando County.
Nature Coast 28, Central 26 (Tuesday night)
In a contest rescheduled because of Hurricane Irma and both teams also slated to play later in the week, the Tuesday night tilt between Class 5A, District 7 rivals Nature Coast and Central lived up to the annual billing.
Central races out to a quick 14-0 lead, but it would be Nature Coast (4-1, 3-0) putting together a solid second half in getting by the Bears in a thrilling 28-26 affair. Bears' quarterback Izzy Zena missed a makeable 30-yard field goal with about three minutes left in the game that would've given Central (2-4, 1-3) the lead.
There's not many games you can turnover the football more than a couple times and win, with Nature Coast coughing up the ball six times and somehow coming away with the victory.
"I think we might've been the first team that were able to turnover the football six times and still win," Nature Coast coach Cory Johns said about the win.
Citrus 21, Central 14
The Bears (2-5, 1-3) had to gear up and play just a few days after falling in a close contest against Nature Coast and saw a similar situation versus Inverness Citrus. Central have been snake bitten when it comes to close games, as they fell 21-14 on the road to the Hurricanes. Chris Sands' team finishes the season with games against Crystal River, Hernando and Sunlake. Central running back Justin Fribbley rushed for over 90 yards in the loss.
Nature Coast 48, Weeki Wachee 8
Coming off a Tuesday night contest against Central, Nature Coast returned to the field for a Friday night home game versus Weeki Wachee and were able to improve to 3-0 in Class 5A, District 7. The Sharks rolled to a 48-8 victory over the Hornets (1-4, 1-3) going into this week's matchup against Lecanto.
Weeki Wachee coach Jacob Gray credited Nature Coast with being an established program and the Hornets are looking to improve on the defensive end of the ball. The Hornets face Hernando this Friday.
"The biggest thing is you look over at NCT and (Cory) Johns takes over a program with an established culture," Gray said. "As much as we've pushed the kids to get stronger in the weight room, those things take time. We look on film and we couldn't stop them on defense at all. We've got to continue to work on tackling and playing assignment football."
Mitchell 28, Springstead 7
The Eagles (3-3, 1-1) have fallen on hard times as of late after starting the season with wins over Central and Weeki Wachee, respectively. Springstead was able to hang with Mitchell for a half, knotted up at 7-7 apiece at halftime before falling 28-7 on the road in a Class 6A, District 6 matchup. Eagles' quarterback Nathan Sims had a nice night running the ball, going over the 100-yard mark. Springstead will regroup and face Land O' Lakes this Friday night.