The Pirates receive perhaps more than they expected from Gulf in fumbled-filled contest.
It started slow for Pasco and Gulf, but the game turned in to a nailbiter. It's too bad the crowd didn't see the Pirates' 22-14 victory. The bleachers weren't anywhere near full for Pasco's homecoming game, and the fans were quiet during the struggle for both teams.
When the announcer said before the game that Gulf had "given the Pirates plenty of scares over the years," head coach Dale Caparaso took offense.
Pasco now leads the series 24-1.
"Is that a dis or what?" Caparaso said to his assistant coaches. "That's a dis if I ever heard one."
But the contest was close, as the offenses struggled much of the way. Pasco turned over four fumbles, with one recovered by Gulf's Bennett Seybold at the Pirates' 6-yard line. The Bucs didn't fare any better, losing three of four fumbles. Pasco linebacker McClain Bryant recovered two fumbles, the last leading to a touchdown near the end of the fourth quarter.
Gulf had 19 penalties for 130 yards, and Pasco had 14 for 90.
"I anticipated this," Caparaso said. "We had a horrible week, mostly my fault because we were getting ready for Hudson. We didn't run a single offensive or defensive play for Gulf."
Gulf coach Keith Newton knew his team played hard. "I thought we played good enough to win," Newton said. "But being inside the 20 three times and not come up with scores, shooting ourselves in the foot, just killed us. "These kids played harder than they did all year, and they deserved to win, but the scoreboard didn't show that," he said.
Newton said "mental mistakes" led to the sputtering offenses. "You've got to be disciplined when it gets to crunch time, and we just weren't disciplined."
Gulf led 14-7 at halftime. On its first drive after recovering a fumble, Gulf scored on a 5-yard run by Ray Sousa.