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One embarrassing night for Pasco

The Pirates come apart in the second half of a 64-29 loss at the hands of Wesley Chapel.

By GREG AUMAN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 27, 2002


DADE CITY -- Pasco senior Devon Hicks had rushed for more than 100 yards in the first quarter Friday night, running for one score and bulling his way 45 yards through Wesley Chapel's defense for another on a screen pass.

But 55 seconds before halftime, Pasco was trailing for the first time and Hicks had been dropped for a 14-yard loss to his own 5-yard line when the pot boiled over.

The Pirates called timeout, and Hicks took off his helmet and yelled to the Pasco sideline: "Coach, I'm tired of these linemen!"

Twice.

It was an embarrassing moment by itself, but nothing else could so accurately foreshadow the second-half implosion ahead for the Pirates in a 64-29 loss.

Some lowlights:

On the first two possessions of the first half, Pasco committed 51 yards in penalties in a span of four plays.

Here's a look at one stretch for the Pirates: incompletion, 7-yard sack, delay of game, illegal procedure, intentional grounding, punt, late hit on 7-yard run, late hit and ejection on 5-yard run, touchdown Wesley Chapel.

Early in the fourth quarter, Wesley Chapel scored on a 63-yard pass from fullback Tyrone Tomlin to receiver Jon Muhammad. On the extra point try, kicker Gabriel Montelongo, who transferred from Pasco this summer, runs in for a two-point conversion.

Flags fly again. Linebacker Thomas Hasley is ejected, meaning the Pirates' leading tackler joins state sack leader Kirk Moats on the sidelines with a suspension from next week's showdown at Zephyrhills. Defensive coordinator Will Dettor objects enough from the sidelines that he, too, is ejected.

With the two 15-yard penalties, Wesley Chapel kicked off from the Pasco 30, setting up an easy chance for an onside kick. The Wildcats recovered the kick on the Pasco 19 and scored five plays later for a 50-23 lead.

The loss is over, but the sting from the ejections will carry over to Friday's game at Zephyrhills.

"I think emotions got the best of us tonight, on both sides really," coach Ricky Thomas said. "Any time you lose two starters, that hurts. I won't know how much until we play."

Pasco quarterback Ben Alford said their absence puts more pressure on the rest of the team, but that's a challenge the Pirates have to step up to in the next five days.

"It's going to hurt us, because they're both big parts of our defense," said Alford, who threw for 243 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort.

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