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By BRANT JAMES
© St. Petersburg Times, published November 8, 2000
The last night of the regular season has Hernando (5-4) at Tavares (1-8) and Springstead (2-7) at Eustis (4-5).
Here is a look at Hernando and Springstead's opponents Friday.
HERNANDO-TAVARES: If ever there was the perfect final opponent for a team whose playoff fate was secure, Tavares appears to be it.
With a 52-7 loss to Umatilla last week, the Bulldogs appear ready to go gently into the off-season.
Tavares, put simply, is a bad football team. Hernando should be able to run its starting units for a while against the Bulldogs then hide key players on the bench.
Tavares has been outscored 279-58 this season, and fullback Larry Scott has accounted for 200 of Tavares' yards and two of its six touchdowns on 98 carries. Quarterback John Green leads the Bulldogs with 173 yards on 16-for-51 passing, but C.J. Longley is responsible for three of their four passing scores.
Tavares has been outscored by an average score of 54-9 in the second half.
The Bulldogs' lone win came against one of their common opponents with Hernando: 2-8 Wildwood. Hernando routed Wildwood 30-6 on Sept. 1, and the Bulldogs beat them 19-7 on Oct. 20.
Tavares lost to Citrus 31-7 on Sept. 1. Hernando beat the Hurricanes 21-16 this week. Tavares was routed by 8-1 South Sumter, 51-0 on Oct. 6, as was Hernando, 33-6 on Oct. 13.
SPRINGSTEAD-EUSTIS: Offense usually is at a premium when the Panthers play, and that's not a good thing.
The good news for Eustis is it has amassed 1,928 yards of total offense and 133 points. The problem is, the Panthers have allowed 2,226, and 220 points.
Perhaps Eustis would have scored more points if not for all the fumbles. Panther ballcarriers have fumbled 35 times this season, and lost 20 of them.
Two runners have managed to hold onto the ball well enough to have respectable seasons: Deleon Dawson and Clifton Joseph.
Dawson leads the Panthers with 471 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 111 carries, and Joseph has 396 yards and three scores on 56 carries.
Dawson's 64 receiving yards and two touchdowns make him Eustis top all-around threat.
- Information from other news sources was used in this report.