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Friday night rewind

By KEITH NIEBUHR, KRISTEN LEIGH PORTER
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 6, 2002

QUOTABLE

"I've waited all my life for this."

-- KEITH ZIGLER, Citrus kicker to Hurricanes coach Larry Bishop after making a 32-yard field goal as time expired that gave his team a 28-25 win over Deltona.

GAME BALLS

CHRIS BUNCH, CRYSTAL RIVER: The junior rushed for 67 yards, including touchdown runs of 51 and 12 yards in the first half. He also completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to his brother, William.

R.J. COBB, CITRUS: The sophomore running back rushed for 203 yards on 30 carries, his fifth consecutive 100-yard game.

CRYSTAL RIVER DEFENSE: The group held Lecanto to 3.5 yards a carry and had interceptions from Ryan McNally and William Bunch. Mike Kotsifakis, Desmond Atkins and Brendon Allen recovered fumbles.

JERE DEFOOR, CRYSTAL RIVER COACH: If there were whispers DeFoor's Pirates were not the team of old, they were silenced after Friday's 58-6 win against Lecanto.

RYAN MCNALLY, CRYSTAL RIVER: The senior rushed for 130 of his 155 yards and two touchdowns in the first half.

STEVE STRONG, CITRUS: The junior tight end/defensive end had a two-point conversion reception, one catch for 10 yards and two batted passes.

ISAIAH WEBB, CITRUS: Webb rushed for 48 yards and two scores on 12 carries and returned a kickoff 40 yards.

KEITH ZIGLER, CITRUS: The senior booted field goals of 42 and 32 yards against Deltona.

JOSH SMITH, LECANTO: Smith scored the Panthers' lone touchdown on a 13-yard run.

I DREAM OF KICKING

More than once during the past two years, Citrus' Keith Zigler approached coaches and told them he had a dream the previous night he made a game-winning kick. It finally happened for real Friday, when the senior drained his pressure-packed 32-yarder.

"I was so happy for him," head coach Larry Bishop said. "That's something we had always talked about. It's something he always dreamed of. ... he felt confident and he kicked it like an extra point."

Zigler's kick looked as if it would have been good from 45-50 yards.

Bishop, by the way, had never won a game on the final play as a head coach.

DOMINATION

Does Crystal River own Lecanto or what?

Friday's win was the Pirates' 15th straight in the rivalry. In recent years, most have come in convincing fashion. Crystal River has beaten Lecanto by 33 or more points every season since 1996.

ABLE QB

Crystal River's Chris Bunch showed off his speed on a 51-yard touchdown run to open the Pirates' scoring. The Pirates QB made good reads in the speed-option and belly-option against Lecanto, and is gaining more confidence and experience with every game. Bunch is 14-for-41 passing for 192 yards and three touchdowns.

IT'S A CLICHE, BUT ...

Why is Citrus 5-0? Perhaps because the Hurricanes try to take 'em one at a time. In the moments after Friday's win, coach Larry Bishop was asked how it felt to be unbeaten. His response was typical.

"To be honest," he said, "the first thought after (Zigler's kick) went through was, "Springstead is next."'

The Hurricanes are 5-0 for the first time since 1994, when they finished 5-5. Citrus last started 6-0 in 1987.

JUST AN OBSERVATION

1. Crystal River continues to amaze. Two weeks after being written off by some, the Pirates routed injury-riddled Lecanto. The 52-point margin of victory is the largest in the series since Crystal River won 63-0 in 1988. The Pirates should breeze past Central and Ocala West Port the next two games before playing always-tough North Marion in a key district showdown Oct. 25. Crystal River is more than capable of running the table.

2. R.J. Cobb is the real deal. Five varsity games, five 100-yard rushing efforts. His 203-yard performance against Deltona included six runs of 10 or more yards and four of 15 or more. He has 795 yards, second-best in the county.

3. Dunnellon's win over North Marion gives the Tigers a leg up in the Class 3A, District 3 race. If they beat Lecanto on Oct. 18, they can do no worse than second. Citrus, Crystal River and North Marion all remain in the hunt for a playoff berth, but the Pirates and Colts likely can't afford to lose another district game.

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