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Friday night rewind

By BRANT JAMES, KRISTEN LEIGH PORTER and FRANK PASTOR
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 15, 2002

QUOTABLE

"Everyone thinks that we'll be kind of on the downside because we lost 22 seniors. Well, we've got to prove to them that we did and we've still got great players on the team and we've still got a lot of heart." -- Chianta Smith, Crystal River running back.

GAME BALLS

ISAIAH WEBB, CITRUS RUNNING BACK: Citrus' X-factor had 13 rushes for 46 yards and three touchdowns -- all in the second half. Oh, and he recovered the fumble that ended Hernando's last meaningful drive and threw a two-point conversion pass

CASEY SNYDER, CITRUS QUARTERBACK: Snyder was a threat to run in the option and out of the pocket, finishing with 101 yards (including a 42-yarder) on 11 carries.

ROD ROBERTS, HERNANDO RUNNING BACK: The junior rushed 13 times for a game-high 126 yards and a touchdown. He also intercepted a pass.

JAGREN CASTILLO, HERNANDO RUNNING BACK: The junior had 16 rushes for 120 yards and touchdown runs of 30 and 20 yards.

RYAN McNALLY, CRYSTAL RIVER: The all-conference running back rushed for 149 yards on 16 carries and scored on runs of 35, 7 and 3 yards.

CHRIS BUNCH, CRYSTAL RIVER: The junior quarterback rushed for 53 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown, completed a 9-yard pass and made a pick deep in Pirates' territory.

TIM DOW, SPRINGSTEAD: The running back rushed for 77 yards on 15 carries, breathing life into the Eagles' dormant offense. He had runs of 17 and 14 yards.

PHIL REED, LECANTO: The senior utility man did it all with 163 ground yards and an 11-yard pass to Bruce Emberley. He also dislocated his left shoulder in the game, the same one he separated last year.

JARVIS PATTERSON, LECANTO: Despite playing injured, Patterson had 124 yards rushing. He already has 375 yards this season.

CHANGES AFOOT

Injuries and inconsistency led to changes in Springstead's offensive backfield. After handing the ball to Joe Merando 25 times in a 28-22 loss to Hernando last week, the Eagles distributed the ball among nine runners Friday. Tim Dow, who came on late in the preseason, carried 15 times for 77 yards. Merando picked up 35 yards on 13 carries before leaving with an ankle injury. Chuck Young (three carries, 14 yards), Ian Wald (5, -6), Jose Yearwood (4, 2), Quindon Floyd (6, 2), Luis Perez (2, 3) and John Hardy (1, 4) also carried the ball. And receiver Tadd Hale was credited with an attempt on a lateral that lost four yards. "Tim Dow, he's just a guy that got out with us a little bit late," Vonada said. "We feel like he's got a lot of potential. He ran the ball hard (Friday). Chuck Young, I thought played really well, too."

NOT-SO-SPECIAL TEAMS

Breakdowns on special teams cost Springstead a possible nine points. The Eagles drove to the Crystal River 36 on their first possession before a bad snap prevented Mike Hibbert from attempting a 53-yard field goal. Holder Ian Wald recovered the ball at the Springstead 46, and the Pirates scored four plays later to take a 6-0 lead. Hibbert, who made field goals of 30, 30 and 46 yards last week against Hernando and converted from 55 yards in practice, missed from 35 and 54 yards in the second quarter. "That was a bit disappointing," Eagles coach Bill Vonada said. "It wasn't any one person. It was a combination of breakdowns."

FLAGS FLYING

Springstead was penalized three times on third-and-five or fewer yards, forcing the Eagles into several unnecessary third-and-long situations. A false start early in the second quarter turned third-and-5 from the Crystal River 9 into third-and-10 from the 14, and Ian Wald threw an interception on the next play. A delay of game in the first quarter and a false start in the second led to Mike Hibbert's missed field goals.

JUST AN OBSERVATION

1. Citrus County's football teams are a lot better than Hernando's. Hernando County is 0-4 against Citrus squads.

2. Perhaps Central doesn't have the athletes to have separate players on offense and defense.

3. Hernando could easily produce two 1,000-yard rushers this season in Jagren Castillo and Rod Roberts.

4. This week's Citrus-Lecanto game is the biggest for either thus far. The winner gets a leg up on a playoff berth.

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