St. Petersburg Times
Online: Tech Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times


Turnovers smother Springstead

Three fumbles and two interceptions add up to a 28-3 loss to fourth-ranked Clermont East Ridge.

Published October 30, 2004

SPRING HILL - A couple of Springstead breaks, a few less mistakes, and it could have been a better ballgame.

On a night when Springstead needed to play as well as they possibly could, the Eagles committed five turnovers that widenened the gap between them and a district championship.

Clermont East Ridge took advantage of every opportunity it had and rolled to a 28-3 victory to clinch the Class 4A, District 6 title.

The Eagles (6-2) tried to see the bright side, knowing they probably could have kept up with the much larger Knights (8-0) if not for three lost fumbles and two interceptions.

"We expected a battle," Springstead fullback Tim Dow said. "They're undefeated for a reason. But I'm proud of the guys.

"The little mistakes, the little fundamentals ... if we can clean those up we can go far."

Springstead's follies began in the second quarter, when quarterback Ian Wald fumbled at the line of scrimmage. East Ridge recovered at the Eagles 7-yard line, and Knights running back P.J. Perry ran it in for a touchdown.

The Eagles managed to gain enough yards on the next possession to get within field-goal range, and Justin DeMutiis kicked a 50-yarder, his longest.

With the score 7-3, Springstead's defense tried to stave off East Ridge in the final minute of the first half, but Knights quarterback Stephen Batman broke open his passing game with back-to-back 35- and 37-yard passes to Richard Jackson, and Perry followed up with a 4-yard run for the score.

The Eagles didn't fare much better in the second half, and again a huge turnover cost them. In the fourth quarter Wald threw a long pass to Knights defensive back Chimdi Checkwa, who returned the interception 54 yards for a touchdown.

Perry led the Knights with 135 yards rushing on 18 carries. Dow led the Eagles with 70 yards on 18 carries.

The Knights, who are ranked fourth in 4A and have largely overpowered every district opponent so far, were expected to win. The Eagles knew they'd have a tough time with their defense, and they knew this would be the most powerful opponent they would face during the regular season.

The Knights knew this, too.

"We knew we'd win," Jackson said. "You plan for district games like this. Our defense played real well, and if they can't score, they can't win."

Springstead coach Bill Vonada said the Eagles plan on working to cut out the mistakes, especially now that they face a tough road game in the first round of the playoffs.

"We haven't turned the ball over like that all season," he said. "Against a fourth-ranked 4A team that should be in 6A, that's going to cost you."

[Last modified October 30, 2004, 01:57:32]


  • Witness to baseball history
  • Three other area ex-Negro Leaguers
  • Marlins lock up Lowell
  • Millions expected in Boston

  • College football
  • Gameday
  • Scouting reports
  • Nothing to lose or nothing to play for?
  • Boise stifles Hawaii QB's record bid
  • Five keys to victory
  • Florida-Georgia: Ten memorable games

  • Golf
  • Back toward the pack
  • Azinger to endure wait after finishing poorly
  • the 19th hole
  • Caddies: partners in victory, defeat
  • Garcia remains in first after escaping penalty
  • Mickelson exits early

  • In brief
  • Ex-Baylor player ruled unfit for murder trial

  • Motorsports
  • Hendrick team tries to grieve at track
  • Gordon inspired to win fifth title

  • NFL
  • Redskins tell rookie safety to stay away

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Parimutuels
  • Funny Cide comes to rescue
  • Trainer's career success not based on big events
  • Young dog puts best paw forth in 1st four races

  • Preps
  • Berkley avenges 2003 loss to Shorecrest
  • Big fake breaks the streak for Lecanto
  • Chamberlain finds new star
  • Dragons rout Tigers to clinch district title
  • East Lake earns title
  • Forfeit ends Hawk streak
  • Hail Mary answers Central prayers
  • Harris carries CCC in final minutes
  • Hillsborough football roundup
  • Hudson takes care of business
  • Largo stuns Cougars
  • Mitchell dominates River Ridge to wrap up playoff spot
  • Patriots break through against Palm Harbor
  • Pinellas football roundup
  • Turnovers smother Springstead
  • Buccaneers back to state form
  • Countryside shines at region meet
  • Fumble corrals Cowboys
  • High-powered Gators test their scoreboard
  • IRC individuals sweep top spots
  • Pasco survives tough game, 22-14
  • Sharks take big bite out of Lions
  • Sickles girls take region crown
  • Stwan, Durant stop Riverview

  • Pro basketball
  • Pacers' Miller injured
  • Lightning
  • Richards signs to play in Russia

    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111