HUDSON - On a soggy Thursday night in Pasco County, Springstead sloshed its way through a 28-0 preseason win at Hudson.
The game was delayed a half hour at the start by lightning, and played in a constant drizzle.
When it began, after forcing a three-and-out by the Cobras on the opening possession, the Eagles nearly held the ball for the remainder of the first quarter.
Springstead methodically marched 77 yards on 19 plays, capped by a quick 8-yard strike from Tyler Mahla to Tyler Anderson on a fourth-and-2 snap with 47 seconds remaining.
"Classic Springstead football; ball-control offense, keep the ball moving, keep the chains moving, keep the clock going, hold on to that football," Springstead head coach Mike Garofano said. "We grind it out offensively, and defensively just try to get the ball back in the offense's hands and let them grind it out some more."
The Eagles doubled their lead in the second quarter, when fullback Daniel Wright burst up the middle for a 36-yard scamper to the end zone, making it 14-0 with 4:09 left in the half.
Two plays into the second half, Mahla went right up the middle of the field untouched, racing 80 yards for a score.
Backup quarterback Joe Jeffords tacked on a touchdown of his own from six yards out with 3:01 to play in the third.
Mahla carried the ball 11 times for 116 yards, while Wright chewed up 61 yards on just five rushes. Mahla was also 6-of-10 passing for 57 yards, though he did toss an interception right before halftime.
"Overall I'm pleased," Garofano said. "I think offensively we overcame some mistakes with some penalties that really set us back on some drives. But we overcame it, didn't have to punt, scored on every drive that we had.
"You got to credit the offensive coaching staff and you got to credit the players for executing. We just got to clean things up offensively as far as penalties are concerned. From a defensive standpoint I thought we were pretty physical, we got after it and I thought we played fast."
The fourth quarter was supposed to be played out by both JV squads. However, the game was called with 10:29 to go due to an injury suffered by Hudson's Austin Thomas.
Thomas, who remained on the ground until EMTs arrived, was eventually airlifted out of the stadium. Hudson coaches did not know specifics about his condition, but he was said to be conscious and had feeling in his extremities.
Coming off a 9-2 mark and a district championship in 2012, Springstead begins this regular season next Friday at Citrus.
"There's stuff to improve on," Garofano said. "We'll watch the film. Film doesn't lie. We'll watch film tomorrow with the kids and make some corrections and try to get ready for Week 1 at Citrus.
"You want to win every game that you play but you want to see us play well most importantly, and I thought we played pretty well in all phases of the game. Played good enough to win, but in order to be contenders in the district race we're going to have to play better."
Springstead 28, Hudson 0 (Game called with 10:29 left in 4th)
Qtr. Scoring 1 2 3 4
SPG 7 7 14 0 - 28
HUD 0 0 0 0 - 0
SPG - Anderson 8 pass from Mahla (Toth kick)
SPG - Wright 36 run (Toth kick)
SPG - Mahla 80 run (Toth kick)
SPG - Jeffords 6 run (Toth kick)
First Downs 14 6
Atts./Rushing Yds. 36-301 25-68
Comps./Pass/Atts/Int. 9-13-1 3-8-0
Passing Yds. 74 24
Total Offense 49-375 33-92
Return Yds. 2-4 5-85
Punts/Avg. 0-0 4-33.8
Fumbles/Lost 1-0 2-0
Penalties 6-55 6-45