Pasco's Friday night heroes
By TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Published October 8, 2006
FRIDAY NIGHT HEROES
Pasco 34, Wesley Chapel 28
Land O'Lakes 35, River Ridge 0
Mitchell 45, Hudson 30
Gulf 21, Ridgewood 0
Bishop McLaughlin 35, West Oaks 14
Zephyrhills was off
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Pasco's Dorian Tookes rushed for 168 yards on 17 carries and scored two touchdowns, including the winner, to give Pasco a 34-28 come-from-behind victory.
TEAM OF THE WEEK
Pasco. Yep, gotta give it up to the Pirates, who were all but finished against Wesley Chapel before a stirring rally gave them a win. It was the kind of victory that changes fortunes, realigns the stars and saves seasons.
PLAY OF THE WEEK
Tookes ran almost untouched for a 78-yard touchdown to seal Pasco's victory. Tookes ran the ball up the middle, felt a tug on his leg, saw a field of green and hit the accelerator, outracing Wesley Chapel defenders the rest of the way.
- Wesley Chapel running back Mario Melvin was hobbled by a right ankle injury but returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.
- Wesley Chapel quarterback Greg Jenkins finished 10-of-14 for 117 yards and two scores, and returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown.
- Gulf's Alton Voss completed 4-of-8 for 106 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, then ran in another from 29 yards out - aided by one of the most beautiful stiff arms you will ever see - and added an interception and a sack to lead Gulf past Ridgewood.
- Gulf's Julian Ford ran for 95 yards, including 71 in the second half to lead all rushers in the Bucs' win.
- Mitchell's Tyrone Hendrix put a Purple Haze on Hudson. Hendrix had three catches for 140 yards, with scoring catches of 61 and 49 yards and added an interception.
- Mitchell quarterback Tate Humphrey and Land O'Lakes quarterback Joe Weatherford threw for three touchdowns.
- Gulf's Kyle Coluzzi was a wrecking ball for the Bucs, sacking Rams quarterback Charlie Minichino twice and generally wreaking havoc in the Rams' backfield.
- Land O'Lakes defensive end Keith Hoffman had two sacks and seven tackles to highlight a Gators' defense that held River Ridge to 87 yards of total offense.
- Land O'Lakes sophomore kicker Alex Spock kicked five extra points and four touchbacks while punting twice for 40 yards.
- River Ridge safety Blake Spinks didn't fare too well at quarterback - he went 2-for-9 passing for just 8 yards - but he did have the only interception of Weatherford.
Byronell Arline, the county's leading rusher entering the game, left after just one series with 5 yards on five carries. The unofficial diagnosis is bruised ribs, but Ridgewood coach Chris Taylor fears a more serious injury, like cracked ribs, which would be devastating for the Rams' playoff hopes.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I was rooting for Wesley Chapel, my baby's team. I was impressed with Pasco, very impressed." - Sharon Jenkins, a Pasco alum and mother of Wildcats quarterback Greg Jenkins and Pasco running back Mario Jenkins. She spent the week harassing Mario about how the Wildcats were going to win. Afterward, Sharon was contrite as she stood outside the Pasco locker room waiting to congratulate Mario. Greg and the rest of the Wildcats already were long on their way home.
5 THINGS WE LEARNED FRIDAY
1. Pasco might be the most talented team in the county. Seriously.
2. If Gulf didn't make so many mistakes, it might just be the best team in the county. Seriously.
3. We can't learn anything next Friday, because all the games (except Bishop McLaughlin's) are on Thursday.
4. We're looking forward to Mitchell's entry in the Arena Football league next season.
5. John Benedetto is a nice guy.
(Next week's games)
Pasco at Gulf: Remember when we told you that Gulf and Zephyrhills were playing in a gi-normous game a few weeks ago? Well, scratch that. This week's showdown between the Bucs and Pirates is even bigger. Pasco can lose and still make the playoffs, but Gulf can't. This calls for a bad walking-the-plank pun, but we'll pass. For now.
Land O'Lakes at Wesley Chapel: Once upon a time, this was a big game. Real big. Now it's not. It's still a nice-sized game, like a Hungry Man frozen dinner, but Bern's it is not.
Hudson at Zephyrhills: The Bulldogs can clinch at least a playoff spot, and believe it or not a Hudson victory puts the Cobras right back in the mix.
River Ridge at Tarpon Springs: Remember how Pasco was 0-5 and struggling and just not very scary and now it is really, really scary and has turned things around? Well, in Pinellas County, they call a team like that Tarpon Springs. Gulp.
Keswick Christian at Bishop McLaughlin: The Hurricanes' last gasp for a playoff spot. And we're talking one of the last gasps that make for such great TV on Grey's Anatomy. Paging Dr. Grey, paging Dr. Grey.