HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES - (Week 7)
(6-0, 1-0) Land O’ Lakes 16, (4-2, 2-0) Hudson 0
LAND O’ LAKES — The Gators have the county’s best offense.
However, their defense isn’t too shabby, either.
“That defense can fly,” Hudson coach Mark Kantor said. “I think they got guys coming off the sideline and playing — like they have 15 guys out there and we didn’t know.”
The Land O’ Lakes defense pitched its second shutout of the season and kicker Andy Dowler hit a career-high three field goals as the Gators downed Hudson 16-0 on Friday evening at John Benedetto Stadium.
With the win, the Gators improve to 6-0 for the first time since 2009.
“We’ll take a win any way we can get it, even if we’re not going to score on offense,” Gators coach Brian Wachtel said. “We’ve got some things to work out before next week, that’s for sure.”
On Friday, Land O’ Lakes faces crosstown and Class 6A-District 6 foe Sunlake (6-1) in a pivotal game that will make or break their seasons.
However, against Hudson (4-2), the Land O’ Lakes offense was shut down by Hudson.
“We were in this game because of our defense,” said LOL junior quarterback James Pensyl, who was 14-for-22 passing for 127 yards, but did not have a touchdown for the first time this season. “It was weird not throwing a touchdown pass, so hopefully that’s the last time, and especially not next week.”
The Gators got on the board thanks to Dowler’s first field goal, from 26 yards. Then defensive lineman Shaheed Salmon picked off a Joey Caruso shovel pass in the second quarter and returned it 32 yards for a 10-0 halftime lead.
On the third-quarter kickoff, Hudson recovered a muffed squib kick. But on fourth-and-goal from the 2, Noah Siegrist, who had just 46 yards on a game-high 20 carries, was stopped a yard short by the Gators.
“We had our heads screwed on from the first play and we all played hard on defense,” Salmon said.
Dowler hit two 39-yard field goals in the fourth quarter, making him 7-for-10 on the season.
“For a second I thought the second one wasn’t going to make it,” Dowler said. “And it feels good to go out there and help our team win.”
Gators running back Larenz Scroggins rushed for a game-high 100 yards on 17 carries.
(4-3, 0-2) Mitchell 29, (2-4, No District) Lecanto 25
TRINITY — Lecanto faced off in a close game against Mitchell, but the Mustangs made a huge fourth-quarter comeback to edge the Panthers.
The Panthers (2-4) struck first when Ardante Anderson (13 carries, 56 yards) scored on a 3-yard run in the second quarter. The last score before halftime was a Dmitry Growdon’s 4-yard run, putting the Panthers ahead 13-0.
The second half was a comeback story for the Mustangs (4-3) when Taylor Schneider (five-of-16, 88 yards) ran for an 8-yard touchdown to start out the third quarter.
Mitchell’s Ryan Marsh (12 carries, 117 yards) scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to give the Panthers a two-point lead late in the game.
Mitchell’s final score was a 55-yard pass from Schneider to Zack Rapaport to seal the victory.
Anderson added two 4-yard touchdown runs in the fourth quarter for Lecanto, but the Panthers failed on both 2-point conversion runs.
Next week, Mitchell plays host to Fivay.
(3-3, 0-2) Wiregrass Ranch 37, (1-6, 1-1) Ridgewood 14
WESLEY CHAPEL — Shane Bucenell threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading Wiregrass Ranch (3-3) to an SAC Conference win on homecoming night against Ridgewood (1-6).
The Bulls dominated play early, scoring on their first three possessions and taking a 20-0 lead into the half.
Bucenell, who threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter, scored on a 10-yard scramble in the third to increase the Wiregrass Ranch lead to 27-0.
The Rams, held scoreless until 1:04 remained in the third quarter, found the end zone on their next two possessions. A touchdown run from 1 yard out by Glass Wilson, who finished with 151 yards on 22 carries, trimmed the deficit to 27-14 with 7:41 left in the contest.
Elias Muniz recovered the ensuing onside kick for Ridgewood, which marched down to just outside of the red zone before an interception by Devin Duckett (his fourth of the season) of Wiregrass Ranch ended the Rams’ chance at a comeback.
Jaye Miner recorded 25 tackles in the contest for the Bulls, pushing his total to 100 on the season.
Next week, Ridgewood is at Hudson and Wiregrass Ranch hosts Steinbrenner.
(3-3, 0-1) Fivay 47, (0-6, 0-2) Gulf 24
HUDSON — Fivay used its high-powered passing attack to convincingly defeat visiting Gulf in a non-district game.
The Falcons jumped on the Bucs on their opening drive and marched 85 yards on seven plays to score. Brian Poinsette (12 carries, 93 yards) scored from 10 yards out and then ran in the two-point conversion to give the Falcons an 8-0 lead.
After a Gulf punt, Fivay took to the air again. This time, quarterback Eric Vitale found Christian Coleman for a 13-yard score, and Fivay widened its lead to 16-0.
All night, the passing of Vitale and the two-headed receiving duo of Coleman and Trenton Soto was too much for the Buccaneers to contain. Coleman hauled in seven passes for 103 yards while Soto caught four for 148.
Vitale was 12-of-21 for 267 yards, including throwing three touchdowns.
Gulf was again without its injured quarterback, Avery Welch. His backup, Morgan Smith, was also out with an ankle injury and Gulf was forced to used wideout RaQuan Hayes and cornerback Travis Thomas at the quarterback positions.
Fivay evened its record to 3-3 but is heading into a stretch of crucial Class 6A-District 6 games, beginning next week at Mitchell.
OTHER SCORES AROUND PASCO:
(3-3, 1-2) Pasco 46, (2-5, 1-3) Weeki Wachee 7
(6-1, 1-1) Sunlake 30, (0-6, 0-2) Wesley Chapel 0
(5-1, 2-1) Zephyrhills 37, (2-4, 2-2) Nature Coast Tech 16
[OFF: Anclote, River Ridge]