After a rough start to the season, Nease seems to have found the right formula, shutting out Englewood 35-0 Friday, Oct. 26, to win its third game in a row.
The Panthers dealt with several injuries early in the season, including to starting quarterback Preston Staples, whose return Oct. 12 after missing five games has helped propel Nease’s surge.
“Having Preston healthy has obviously provided a spark for our offense,” Nease coach Tim Krause said. “He has done a great job executing and made a number of individual plays. His leadership and energy has helped us to be a much more confident team in all three phases.”
Krause also credits the other seniors on the team for guiding the late-season turnaround.
“I could not be more proud of our seniors and our team leadership,” he said. “Winning three in a row after a rough start is a testament to their character and work ethic. It takes a special group of people to rally around each other and continue to work when things are difficult.”
The Panthers (3-6, 3-1 District 4-6A) are now tied with St. Augustine and White atop the district standings heading into the regular-season finale against visiting Bartram Trail at 7 p.m. Friday.
“We had to win some big district games to get to this point, including a win over a rival in St. Augustine,” Krause said. “This week we are focusing on Bartram Trail and doing whatever we can to win and improve our point total for the playoffs. With the new system, there are a number of things outside of our control, so we are focused on what we can do.”