Football: Hernando County Top Three

1. Hernando (4-2)

Up next: vs. Lakeland Kathleen

The Leopards have already beat their two biggest county rivals, Nature Coast and Springstead. Defense and strong running game were key in last week’s 7-3 victory over the Eagles. Sam Sternberger had a team-high 14 tackles. Jordan Williams rushed for 106 yards and scored the only touchdown of the game. Hernando has a chance to do well in the last four games considering only one contest is against a team with a winning record. 

2. Nature Coast (4-2)

Up next: at Hudson 

Last week’s bye came at an opportune.time for the Sharks. They were able to regroup after consecutive losses to Hernando (27-21) and Wesley Chapel (13-7). It also gave Nature Coast an extra week to prepare for a pivotal game against Hudson on Friday. A win likely moves the Sharks into a three-way tie for second place in Class 5A, District 9 with the Cobras and Wesley Chapel. A loss all but eliminates Nature Coast from district title contention.  

3. Springstead (4-3)

Up next: vs. Central

The Eagles are trying to bounce back after consecutive losses to Belleview (41-21) and Hernando (7-3) A win against winless Central on Friday will help Springstead get back on track before facing Class 6A, District 5 foes Lecanto and Ocala Vanguard in the final two games of the regular season.