Sharks, Leopards Victorious in District Bouts
By Danny Aiello Jr
DeShawn Smith ran for a 77-yard touchdown with 20 seconds remaining as Nature Coast escaped with a 39-33 victory over Crystal River Friday.
Despite a double digit lead at the half, the Sharks (5-0, 2-0 5A-7) found themselves tied with the visiting Pirates (3-2, 1-1 5A-7) at 33 with just over a minute remaining.
After holding Crystal River to -14 yards of total offense in the first quarter, the Sharks couldn’t adjust to the Pirates running the read-option offense with Antonio Franklin and Tyrek Scriven, allowing the tandem to rush for 313 yards and four touchdowns.
A week after setting Hernando County records for touchdowns and rushing yards, Smith went for 299 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries and even lost a yard on a kneel for the games final play.
It was an emotional night for the Sharks who all wore #3 decals on their helmets and had ‘Pray For 3’ along the fence to honor Central High QB Sebastian Rivera who was in an accident earlier in the week.
Up Next: Nature Coast will have a bye week before the look to stay perfect as they host Weeki Wachee on October 9th.
Hernando Rides Defense to First Win
The Hernando defense was fierce Friday as the Leopards downed Citrus for their first win of the 2015 campaign.
Despite allowing a 54-yard touchdown run by Ryan Grow in the second quarter, the Hurricanes (0-5, 0-2 5A-7) would be kept off the board by a total dominating effort from the Hernando (1-4, 1-1 5A-7) defense.
The Leopards would finally take the lead with just over four minutes remaining on a Jacob Valentino touchdown run. The extra point was good by kicker Micah Kahler, and those seven points would be all Hernando needed for victory.
Up Next: The Leopards will look to keep their momentum as they head to Crystal River and look to spoil the Pirates homecoming festivities.