HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES
(6-2, 4-0) Hudson 26, (3-5, 2-2) River Ridge 16
HUDSON — Hudson held off a comeback from a resilient River Ridge team, and defeated the Knights to clinch a postseason berth in Class 5A-District 7.
Hudson started the game on fire, jumping out to a 16-0 first-quarter lead on two Noah Siegrist touchdown runs. Siegrist finished as the game's leading rusher with 148 yards on 25 carries.
River Ridge's defense stiffened, and its offense got going behind the legs of Ben Perdomo (20 carries, 84 yards).
Late in the second quarter, River Ridge faced a fourth down when quarterback Patrick Mathieson threaded the needle on a 13-yard touchdown pass to Craig Bell, to make the score 16-8.
Mathieson and the Knights tied the score in the third quarter when he found Trevor Duke for a 35-yard touchdown pass.
Hudson answered with a drive and took the lead on 28-yard Nate Binder field goal. Dylan Crowder then recovered a Knights fumble, which Hudson cashed in with a James Caruso touchdown run for the final margin.
This will be Hudson's first playoff berth since 2009. Hudson plays at Anclote on Friday, and the winner will be the 5A-7 champion and host a playoff game.
Next week, River Ridge plays host to Ridgewood.
(8-1, 3-1) Land O' Lakes 44, (3-5, 0-3) Fivay 12
LAND O' LAKES — Coming off what some might have believed was a devastating overtime loss to neighborhood rival Sunlake, Land O' Lakes responded in a big way.
The Gators didn't let the loss hang on their shoulders, as quarterback James Pensyl threw three first-half touchdowns to lead Land O' Lakes to a resounding homecoming victory against Fivay.
Less than three minutes into the game, Land O' Lakes (7-1, 2-1 Class 6A-District 6) was on the scoreboard, as Pensyl connected with receiver Ethan Weilant on a 14-yard touchdown pass and catch. Later in the first quarter, the two connected again on a 26-yard post pattern and put the Gators up 14-3.
Fivay (3-5, 0-3) tried to ball control by feeding quarterback Eric Vitale and running backs Vic Taylor and Michael Chisholm the bulk of the carries. By halftime, however, Pensyl was 5-for-12 for 150 yards and three TDs to help Land O' Lakes build a 31-6 lead.
Indeed, the night belonged to Land O' Lakes, which sets its sights on next week's do-or-die matchup with Spring Hill Springstead for a potential postseason berth.
Pensyl finished 8-for-19 for 208 yards and had two rushing scores. Fivay's Taylor rushed 24 times for 91 yards and Vitale threw for 172 yards.
(7-1, 3-0) Springstead 38, (5-4, 1-3) Mitchell 6
SPRING HILL — Springstead moved to within one district victory of history after tallying the game's final 31 points against Mitchell in a Class 6A-District 6 game.
At Booster Stadium, the Mustangs (5-4, 1-3), who are looking to become the first Hernando County team to win back-to-back district titles, trailed early as the mistake-free Eagles (7-1, 3-0) gashed Mitchell for 83 yards on four snaps on the game's opening possession.
Senior RB Kevin Bedford (7 carries, 96 yards), who helped set up the score with a 55-yard burst, cruised in from 5 yards out for his third rushing score of the season.
Place-kicker Tyler Toth, who converted 5-for-5 extra-points and a 20-yard field goal on the night, followed with his initial PAT only 59 seconds into the game, 7-0.
Mitchell countered with a 7-play, 64-yard scoring drive capped by a perfectly executed 34-yard draw for a TD by senior RB Nate Boler.
But after Boler's second touchdown of the season, senior kicker John Schwindt misfired on the ensuing PAT with 8:24 showing in the first quarter.
Mitchell was victimized by four turnovers, including two lost fumbles (recovered by Dylan McLeod and Travis O'Neil) and a pair of interceptions (Brian Rae and McLeod).
Springstead 7 14 10 7 — 38
(2-7, 2-2) Ridgewood 62, (0-8, 0-4) Gulf 54
NEW PORT RICHEY — In a dramatic, high-scoring shootout, host Ridgewood prevailed against Gulf.
The fourth quarter alone featured 49 points.
Gulf (0-8) recovered two onside kicks in the final period.
Both teams relied primarily on their running games, but Ridgewood (2-6) had too many weapons.
Running back Glass Wilson finished with 327 yards rushing.
Teammates Clarence Farria and Darnell Lindsey both accumulated 93 yards on the ground.
Gulf had its own heroes, including quarterback Avery Welch, who passed for 141 yards, ran for 126 more and scored four times.
Freshman wide receiver Deondre Hopkins made two acrobatic catches for 58 and 42 yards.
Next week, Gulf hosts Wesley Chapel, while Ridgewood is at River Ridge.
Ridgewood 8 14 18 22 — 62
(5-3, 4-0) Anclote 41, (0-8, 0-4) Wesley Chapel 0
HOLIDAY — Anclote (5-3) reached the postseason for the second straight year with a homecoming win over Wesley Chapel (0-8) in a Class 5A-District 7 game on Friday night. The win sets up a district title game next week vs. Hudson, a 26-16 winner over River Ridge.
Anclote running backs Willie Barrett (12 carries, 102 yards, one TD) and Trent Crawford (18 carries, 119 yards) provided much of the offense for the Sharks.
Anclote opened the game with a Brandon Vinkler 21-yard pass to Tymere Carter for a touchdown.
The Sharks then blocked a punt and recovered the ball on the 5-yard line, resulting in a 1-yard run for a score by Vinkler.
Vinkler (4-for-7, 54 yards) threw another touchdown of 22 yards to Austin Rumer.
The Wildcats' first play after getting the ball back was fumbled and Tymere Carter recovered and returned it 8 yards for a TD.
Sharks kicker CJ Peppe made field goals of 23 and 27 yards.
Anclote's defense was stingy, holding the Wildcats' offense to just 6 total yards on the night.
OTHER SCORES AROUND PASCO:
(5-3, 3-2) Pasco 46, (0-9, 0-5) Central 12
(7-1, 4-1) Zephyrhills 32, (2-6, 2-3) Hernando 14
(9-0, 6-0) South Sumter 63, (3-5, 1-4) Weeki Wachee 20
(7-1, 4-0) Sickles 35, (3-5, 0-4) Wiregrass Ranch 7