West Pasco Week 2 Football Recaps
NEW PORT RICHEY — Sunlake (2-0) followed up its landmark victory against Pasco last week with a shutout of the Royal Knights, giving up just 27 yards of offense and not allowing River Ridge to get inside the Seahawks 30-yard line.
Junior Nathan Johnson had 19 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown to pace Sunlake’s strong rushing attack.
The passing game, however, is still a work in progress, coach Bill Browning said. Senior Esteban LeWallen started at quarterback but after a turnover on downs on the first series, junior Dayton Feiden came in and led Sunlake to three consecutive touchdown drives, including a 3-yard rushing score of his own. LeWallen moved to defense and had one of the Seahawks’ five sacks. Sunlake led 22-0 at the half.
“I’m waiting for one (quarterback) to separate themselves from the other,” Browning said. “They’re running neck-and-neck. Both will see time. It may be that way through the whole season.”
Junior Austin Yeloushan had two sacks, while Ben Wood had a sack and two tackles for loss. Wanya Lamar had a second-half goal-line interception to thwart River Ridge’s best scoring chance.
Joe-Jean Baptiste blocked a River Ridge punt in the second half.
River Ridge (0-2) has surrendered 13 sacks in its first two games.
TRINITY — Coming off a dramatic victory against Anclote last week, Mitchell went into Friday’s matchup vs. Ridgewood with potential prospects of a letdown. Mitchell turned up the energy when they needed to and rolled past Ridgewood.
The Mustangs (2-0) took advantage of a Ridgewood fumble and a couple plays later scored on a 3-yard Nate Boler (13 carries, 98 yards) TD run to go up 7-0 with 10:21 left in the first quarter. Ridgewood answered with two 1-yard Glass Wilson scores and the Rams went into halftime trailing 20-12.
Both teams displayed their efficient and effective rushing attacks during a rainy and muddy first half, as Mitchell rushed for 97 yards and Ridgewood racked up 133.
After Mitchell had a 27-12 lead in the third quarter, Ridgewood (0-2) mounted scoring drives all throughout the second half and Wilson (19 carries, 99 yards) cut the lead to 34-30 with a 5-yard scoring run in the fourth period.
Christian Trinidad (15 carries, 66 yards) put the finishing touches on win No. 2 for Mitchell, as the senior scored from a yard out with less than three minutes left in the game.
WIREGRASS RANCH 25 HUDSON 7
WESLEY CHAPEL — As far as Mike Lawrence is concerned, the losing streak still stands.
“The 0-22 is still there,” Wiregrass Ranch’s first-year coach said flatly. “We haven’t done anything yet and when we do, I’ll let you know. We’ll know because we finished and then the streak will be over. Until then, we still have a lot of work. ... We’re going to take any win, no doubt, but we haven’t done anything yet.”
Despite that, the Bulls have actually snapped their losing streak and are off to their best start since 2009. Wiregrass improved to 2-0 on Friday with a 25-7 victory against Hudson (1-1).
Wiregrass Ranch had a 42-7 win against Gulf last week and have now allowed just 14 points to be scored on the Bulls. In addition, on Friday the Bulls picked up their first defensive score since 2010.
“To us, (these wins don’t mean anything) because, two years, not winning, it’s still hanging over our heads,” Lawrence said. “If there’s a positive tonight, our defense stepped up and did their job.”
The Bulls shut out the Cobras in the first half, allowing just 59 yards, most of those coming from running back Noah Siegrist, who finished with a game-high 75. Wiregrass would only have 118 yards itself, but got 20- and 26-yard field goals from senior kicker Bryce Wilson.
“We came out not warmed up, but our defense held its own and came up big,” Bulls defensive back Jaye Miner said.
The Cobras came out storming in the third behind quarterback Joey Caruso, who would finish 7-for-15 passing for 64 yards, but did the most damage on the ground, including a 6-yard QB keeper that gave Hudson a 7-6 lead with 5:34 left. But a fumble in the fourth quarter hurt Hudson.
Wiregrass scored three touchdowns in the fourth, including a 57-yard bomb from Shane Bucenell to Carbel Faddul. Bucenell finished the game 7-for-16 passing for 140 yards, and an interception.
Wiregrass Ranch 3 3 0 19 — 25
NEW PORT RICHEY — Zephyrhills used its speed and big-play ability to pull away from a gritty Gulf squad at Des Little Stadium.
Gulf who struck first. After an interception by Dylan McCallister set up the Bucs in the red zone, Avery Welch found a wide open RaQuan Hayes in the back of the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown pass that gave Gulf a 7-0 lead.
Gulf was on the move threatening to take a two-score lead, but Zephyrhills’ Tre Everrett intercepted a Buccaneer pass, setting up the Bulldogs on their 9-yard line. From there, they went 91 yards on eight plays as Malik Mutcherson punched it in from the 1-yard line to get Zephyrhills on the board.
The Bucs unraveled in the second quarter with three turnovers — including the interception — that the Bulldogs capitalized on. Zephyrhills converted all three turnovers into touchdowns and added a safety to take a 23-7 lead into the locker room at the half.
“I saw a lot of fight late in the game, and that pleases me.” Gulf coach Jason Messamore said. “We’re getting closer.”
Zephyrhills 0 23 14 14 — 51
DADE CITY — Bowman Archibald had 1.5 sacks, returned an interception for a touchdown and scored on a 58-yard bomb from Grant Starling — all in the first half — as Pasco (1-1) took out its frustrations on Fivay (1-1).
A week removed from their first regular-season loss since Week 2 of the 2009 season that ended a 38-game winning streak, the Pirates scored 28 first-quarter points on only seven offensive plays.
Nate Craig scored the first two touchdowns for Pasco, beating double coverage on throws of 36 and 35 yards from Benjamin Chandler. Long scoring runs of 55 yards by Malik Johns and 79 yards by Jaquan Clower helped give the Pirates a 43-0 lead at halftime. Pasco ran just 13 plays in the first half.
Playing with a running clock in the second half, Johns capped the scoring for the Pirates by hauling in a 9-yard toss from Chandler late in the third quarter.
Fivay avoided the shutout with a 5-yard scoring run by Vik Taylor with 4:15 left in the contest.
Pasco will host Wesley Chapel next Friday; Fivay has next week off before hosting Lecanto on Sept. 20.
LAND O’ LAKES 24 ANCLOTE 7
HOLIDAY — Thanks to a stifling defense and lingering memories of last season’s 4-6 finish, Land O’ Lakes is in familiar territory — undefeated and looking like one of Pasco County’s best teams.
The Gators nearly earned a second straight shutout, holding Anclote (0-2) to 154 total yards — 62 on Trent Crawford’s touchdown run with less than 2 minutes remaining — forced three turnovers and even scored a defensive touchdown.
“These kids use last season as motivation, and right now they’re just flying all over the place defensively,” said Land O’ Lakes coach Brian Wachtel. “We had a great game plan, and when you play your tails off, this is what can happen.”
James Pensyl had first-half scoring tosses of 30 and 29 yards to Kamal Wells to give the Gators (2-0) a 15-0 halftime lead.
With a defense that limited Anclote star running back Willie Barrett to 23 yards and didn’t allow a point on three Sharks possessions that started in Land O’ Lakes territory, it was an advantage that proved insurmountable.
Pensyl finished 17-of-31 for 223 yards to pace an offense that gained 310 yards and had 16 first downs.
Land O’ Lakes 7 8 3 6 — 24