Lake Gibson shuts down the Eagles' pass and the run for a good chunk of the game.
By EMILY NIPPS
Published November 20, 2004
SPRING HILL - Say this about Lake Gibson's defense: It did its homework.
Just about every offensive weapon Springstead relied on in last week's game against Belleview was rendered helpless against the Braves, especially in the first half.
That great seven-reception game Eagles tight end Chris Ferguson has last week? Wasn't going to happen with the hounding defensive end the Braves put on him all night. Those 134 rushing yards collected by fullback Tim Dow? The Braves held him to 17 yards on six carries.
The Eagles had no choice but to rely heavily on quarterback Ian Wald's option keeper, but his 23 carries and 119 yards weren't enough to keep Springstead afloat.
"We did what we could, but they took away our option," Dow said. "We expected that."
The Eagles lost 39-21 after a dismal first half in which nothing seemed to go their way.
And on two plays that might have swung momentum in Springstead's favor, both were called back on holding penalties.
With 46 seconds left in the half, Wald connected with wide receiver Alex Oliver for what would have been a 56-yard play, but it was brought back. Later, Wald had an explosive run on the keeper for almost 20 yards that came back.
Things started looking up for the Eagles when they took the second-half kickoff at the Braves 26-yard line and scored 13 plays later on a 3-yard run by Wald.
Wald's passing game (6-of-12, 93 yards) picked up as he found Joe Merando and Quinden Floyd for 23 and 31 yards, respectively.
The Eagles' offensive efforts were enough to let Springstead exit its playoff run with a respectable three touchdowns, but the Eagles didn't have enough tools to keep their season alive.
"We just don't have great skill positions in all areas," said Ferguson, who finished with three catches for 34 yards. "We got outplayed."
"We still had our opportunities," Springstead coach Bill Vonada said. "We had one called back, and then we took the second-half kickoff and took it down the field. We were in the football game at that point.
"We just couldn't get it done."
Times staff writer John Schwarb contributed to this report.