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Friday night heroes

By Times Staff
Published September 23, 2006


Friday's scores

Wesley Chapel 41, River Ridge 13

Land O’Lakes 28, Pasco 22 (OT).

Ridgewood 48, Hudson 16
Gulf 53, Mitchell 43

Zephyrhills 36, Naples Lely 16

Bishop McLaughlin 20, Cambridge 13

PLAYER OF THE WEEK: At 6-feet-3 and 200 pounds, Gulf’s Shawn Williamson is a threat on the outside. He showed an array of skills – leaping, sprinting and shedding (tacklers) – as he lit up Mitchell for touchdowns of 35, 67, and 37 yards.Williamson finished with five catches for 182 yards, both season highs as he makes his way back from a leg injury in the spring game.“(My offensive line) gave me all the time I needed to get open,” Williamson said, and quarterback Alton Voss did the rest.

TEAM OF THE WEEK: Zephyrhills. Again. The Bulldogs just keep amazing us, beating a Naples Lely team that had won three straight. If the Bulldogs pull off something terrific next week, we may just retire this category.

PLAY OF THE WEEK: The Pasco-Land O’Lakes playbooks were like a bag of potato chips — we can’t stop at just one.But we’ll try.What were the Pirates thinking running a pass play from the Land O’Lakes 22 with just 20 seconds remaining? After Jeremy Lee’s interception put them in field-goal range to win in regulation, all the Pirates had to do was try one quick running play, then a spike, then a field-goal attempt. Or at least a quick out pass.Instead, they threw a short pass to Demetrious Larry, who wasn’t close enough to the sideline to get out of bounds, especially with Land O’Lakes Dontarrius Thomas collaring him to the turf.

Pasco failed to get another play off, the game went to overtime and the rest was some really bad Pirates history.

SHINING STARS

Wesley Chapel’s Mario Melvin busted out for his first 200-yard game, gaining 213 on 17 carries. He also added 69 receiving.

Land O’Lakes’ Develin Robinson had six catches for 170 yards, 146 in the first half.

Zephyrhills’ Philip Robichaud had a breakout game, leading all rushers with 115 yards and two touchdowns.

Zephyrhills’ Cannellios Ansley rushed for 78 yards and one touchdown.

Byronell Arline, the county’s leading rusher, carried 21 times for 172 yards and three touchdowns in three quarters.

The Ridgewood senior added a 55-yard scoring catch.

Charley Minichino finally saw some action at quarterback for Ridgewood, and last year’s opening-day starter was 5-for-5 for 157 yards and three scores.

UNSUNG HEROES

Pasco’s McClain Bryant had a rushing touchdown, a two-point conversion, one blocked extra point and on defense abused the Gator linemen with his shuffling legs, causing them to jump four times.

Zephyrhills’ Mychael Floyd caught a pair of two-point conversions and blocked a punt.

Zephyrhills linebacker Beau Barnes had two interceptions.

LOOSE ENDS
* Pasco and Land O’Lakes got into it after the Gators win Friday night. The brawl left a Pirates player’s face covered in blood after teammates said a Land O’Lakes player hit him with a helmet. One Pasco player walked around power-bombing Land O’Lakes players, and Gator assistant Tom Carter was seen heaving one of his linemen 10 yards to get him out of the fray. All in all, an ugly scene.

* Zephyrhills offensive lineman Andrew Smith will miss at least one game due to a suspension for an ejection in Friday’s 36-16 win against Naples Lely. Smith was ejected for punching a player, according to officials’ comments to coach Tom Fisher along the sideline. Smith was ejected with 6 minutes, 14 seconds left in the third quarter with the Bulldogs holding a 30-16 lead. The suspension comes at a particularly bad time with Zephyrhills heading to Gulf for its first Class 3A, District 8 game.

* Zephyrhills didn’t attempt to kick an extra point all night after its kicker, Louis Ferguson, was missing because he got “in trouble” according to Fisher. Fisher sent out 6-foot, 230-pound lineman Jesus Castenada to kick but never let him loose. Instead, quarterback Sederrik Cunningham completed three of five conversion attempts in the air.n Ridgewood defensive back Ian Beckett, who had 30 tackles and two interceptions heading into Friday’s action, was ejected due to unsportsmanlike conduct and will miss at least one game.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “The kids just did not seem like they wanted to win that football game.’’

— Land O’Lakes coach John Benedetto after the Gators squeaked by Pasco.

5 THINGS WE LEARNED FRIDAY

1. Pasco is snakebitten, cursed, ill-fated, bedevilled, anathematized and whatever other word you can think of.

2. Develin Robinson is the truth.

3. Gulf just scored again ... wait, here comes Mitchell ...

4. Land O’Lakes isn’t going anywhere until it develops a running game. And by anywhere, we mean the playoffs.

5. Next week is going to rock!

LOOKING FORWARD

(Next week’s games)

Zephyrhills at Gulf: If high school football is truly alive in Pasco County, this game will be sold out and people will be turned away for not buying tickets sooner.

Central at Ridgewood:
You won’t find a better matchup of running backs this week between Ridgewood’s Arline and Central’s DuJuan Harris. We have goosebumps.

Gaither at Wesley Chapel:
The Wildcats will be all but out of the playoffs with a loss.

Hudson at Pasco: The Pirates are 0-5, the Cobras are 1-4, but the winner will be in great position for a playoff spot.
Mitchell at Land O’Lakes: We’re not sure we’ve seen the real Gators, and we have no idea who the real Mustangs are. That makes this game a mystery.

Bishop McLaughlin at Victory Christian: The defending Class B state champion Bulldogs have outscored district opponents 119-0 in two games. Gulp.

— JOHN C. COTEY, IZZY GOULD, STEVE LEE, ERIC MUSKATEVC, MIKE TOMPKINS