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Zettel turns offensive in leading Brandon

CLASS 2A: Usually a stopper, the junior scores three times as a forward and the Eagles are in the semifinals with a 6-0 win over Bartow.

By JOEL POILEY

© St. Petersburg Times, published February 14, 2003


BRANDON -- If David Zettel keeps this up, Brandon coach Allen Ware might think twice about moving him back to defense.

Normally the Eagles stopper, Zettel was moved to forward with Andy Skiffington out for the second straight game due to a red-card violation in the district semifinals. Zettel scored three times off headers leading Brandon to an impressive 6-0 romp against Bartow on Thursday.

The victory advanced the Eagles (19-1-2) to Tuesday night's semifinals against Palmetto, a 3-2 winner over Naples Barron Collier in overtime.

Brandon dominated from the start, with Zettel scoring after two minutes from inside the penalty area. He scored nine minutes later off a corner kick.

"We push him up on dead-ball situations," Ware said of Zettel. "He's always been good on balls in the air, and he challenged everything in the air tonight."

A junior, Zettel got the hat trick eight minutes into the second half. Jason Poole, Michael Guess and Keith Bryant also scored for the Eagles, who outshot Bartow 25-1. Keeper Michael Leckie had 19 saves, including several diving deflections, for Bartow (6-10-5).

In his seventh season, Ware said this is not only his most talented team, but the most focused.

"This group is confident and relaxed," Ware said. "They really know what they want and they go out and make it happen."

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