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Pasco continues magic

Pirates rally again for victory on road to recovery from an 0-2 start to season.

Published October 16, 2004

DADE CITY - For the past two weeks, Pasco has followed a familiar pattern of digging a hole for three quarters before escaping with an improbable victory.

After coming back from huge deficits to beat Jacksonville Trinity Christian and Land O'Lakes, the Pirates appeared to be a team that was uncannily charmed.

That left many wondering if the magic would continue against Wesley Chapel, which entered Friday night with a 15-game regular-season win streak.

It did.

Pasco continued its remarkable turnaround from an 0-2 start with a 24-20 victory over the Wildcats.

The Pirates, who snapped a four-game losing streak to one of their most heated rivals, are 4-2 and back in the Class 3A, District 9 race.

"I had three goals when I took this job," said Pasco coach Dale Caparaso, who is in his second year.

"The first was to get back to beating Zephyrhills. Second was to be in position to beat Wesley Chapel. Third was to win a state championship.

"We've already accomplished two out of the three," he said.

The Pirates stayed true to form as they fell behind early.

Wesley Chapel ran back a kickoff 73 yards. Mario Melvin capped the short drive with a 19-yard run for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed.

Trailing 6-0, Pasco rallied behind quarterback Tony Smith, who raced 26 yards for a score with 35 seconds remaining in the first half.

Kyle Hobbs kicked the extra point to give the Pirates a 7-6 lead at the half.

The momentum continued in the third quarter as Pasco scored on two quick plays.

The first came on an 80-yard pass from Smith to Darrell Davis on the Pirates' opening possession. Smith then picked an Anthony Rawson pass and returned it 26 yards for a TD.

Hobbs, who made both extra points, also kicked a 34-yard field goal to put Pasco ahead 24-7.

Wesley Chapel (5-1) staged a furious rally as Aaron Dickler scored on a 6-yard run and caught a 24-yard pass from Rawson for a touchdown.

But the rally fell short as Pasco recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock.

[Last modified October 16, 2004, 01:01:20]


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