HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES
(4-6) Hudson 33, (6-4) Fivay 26
HUDSON — Since the opening of Fivay four years ago, the Falcons have owned the rivalry against nearby Hudson.
The two teams were going in different directions after the game, with Hudson moving on to the playoffs and Fivay heading into the offseason, and something had to give.
Fivay would not back down and continued its dominance, as the Falcons came away with a 33-26 homecoming victory against the Cobras Friday night.
“This is a great win for us,” Fivay coach Chris Taylor said. “A lot of people wrote us off during the season and we played in a tough district against some tough opponents.”
Hudson (6-4) started off strong behind a consistent passing attack led by junior quarterback Joey Caruso. Caruso connected with running back Zach Russell (five catches, 90 yards) on a 32-yard fade route to give Hudson a 6-0 lead early in the second quarter. Fivay (4-6) did not stay silent for long, however, as Falcons quarterback Eric Vitale helped engineer a 53-yard drive, which culminated in a 1-yard TD run by Vitale to tie it at 6. The teams traded touchdowns before halftime, highlighted by a Noah Siegrist 29-yard run that set up a 1-yard sneak by Caruso.
Siegrist (23 carries, 143 yards) scored on a 29-yard run and Caruso (6-of-13, 112 yards) connected with Dean Simon on a 6-yard pass to go up 26-20 with 55 seconds left in the third quarter.
Fivay came up big late, and Vitale (9-of-17, 202 yards) threw touchdowns of 83 and 47 to Trenton Soto (6 catches, 194 yards).
(8-2) CCC 37, (6-4) Anclote 14
CLEARWATER — Clearwater Central Catholic entered Friday’s regular-season finale as Class 3A-District 5 champion. The Marauders left it believing they’re ready to make a deep playoff run, even if their head coach is hesitant to admit it.
CCC dominated throughout, taking an early lead and riding a stifling defense to a commanding 37-14 victory over visiting Anclote. In the process, it erased the memories of an overtime loss at IMG Academy the week before.
“We’ve done a really good job of getting out of the box all season,” said CCC coach John Davis. “We considered this a huge game, because when you lose, you don’t want to let it multiply and lose again.
“Our players feel like we have a chance and I think we do, too. But, I’ve been doing this long enough to know you better win the first one before you talk about the second and third.”
The Marauders held overwhelming advantages in yards (410-172) and first downs (19-7). Once Conner Dorris scored his second touchdown on a 1-yard run midway through the second quarter, CCC (8-2) held an insurmountable 21-0 lead.
While the Mauraders, who are home to Bishop Verot in a first-round playoff game Nov. 15, cruised, not much went right for the Class 5A, District 7 champions. Anclote’s Willie Barrett and Trent Crawford combined for 129 rushing yards, while QB Brandon Vinkler left in the second with a left knee injury.
Vinkler said he twisted the knee and expects to play next week in the school’s first home playoff game against Tarpon Springs.
With Vinkler sidelined, Anclote struggled against a CCC defense that’s allowed only 114 points. The Sharks (6-4) trailed 30-0 late in the third quarter when Barrett returned an interception 102 yards. Barrett gained 68 rushing yards to surpass the 1,000-yard plateau again, while Crawford, whose 11-yard run closed the scoring in the final minute, finished 23 yards short of the mark.
“We’re already over this,” said Anclote head coach Matt Wicks. “We’ll be ready to play Tarpon and I think we’ll be able to run the ball like we want to against them. Tarpon isn’t as big as [the Marauders] are.”
Jeff Smith capped CCC’s opening drive with a 49-yard pass to a crossing Blake Gomez, before Dorris scored from the 4 one drive later for a 14-0 advantage.
(6-4) Mitchell 28, (1-9) Gulf 21
TRINITY — Mitchell rode the legs of its leading rusher Nate Boler to survive a shootout with the pesky Gulf Buccaneers on Friday night at Mitchell High School.
Gulf took the lead on a 79-yard drive to open the game. Montavious Reed scored from 8 yards out to give the Bucs a 7-0 lead.
Mitchell would answer back with Boler doing most of the work. The senior tailback had 55 of the 74 yards on the drive and his 1-yard run tied the score at 7.
Mitchell took a 14-7 lead after a Conner Murchie fumble return set the Mustangs up inside the Gulf 5-yard line.
Quarterback Taylor Schneider snuck it in from the 1 to give Mitchell the lead.
In the third quarter, the teams traded scores, and after Boler’s 50-yard touchdown run to make it 28-14, it appeared the Mustangs would win comfortably.
But Gulf answered with a double pass. RaQuan Hayes found a wide-open Montavious Reed for a 43-yard touchdown to make it 28-21.
Mitchell was able to run out the clock on the ensuing drive behind Boler. He finished with 187 yards on 26 carries.
(7-3) Pasco 49, (3-7) River Ridge 30
NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge hosted Pasco on Friday night, and it was the Pirates who came away with a fairly easy victory.
Pasco (7-3) broke out the gate with a 61-yard run by Jaquan Clower (nine carries, 82 yards). Pirates quarterback Grant Starling connected with Malik Johns for three touchdowns in the first half for 5, 31 and 44 yards.
River Ridge (3-7) came out strong in the second half, with Creg Bell catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mathieson. The Royal Knights would score again to cut the lead in half on a Brandon Lempfert 35-yard touchdown from Mathieson.
The Pirates would strike back with a Clower 4-yard run, but the Knights pulled closer with a 3-yard run by Chris Schwarz and a Patrick Cook 49-yard fumble recovery to make it 35-30 Pirates.
The Pirates pulled away with touchdown runs of 13 and 21 yards by Johns.
Pasco travels to Citra North Marion next Friday to start the Class 5A postseason.
River Ridge 0 0 15 15 — 30
OTHER SCORES AROUND PASCO:
(9-1) Sunlake 19, (7-3) Zephyrhills 14
(5-5) Wiregrass Ranch 35, (0-10) Wesley Chapel 21
(8-2) Land O’ Lakes 38, (2-8) Lecanto 35 (OT)