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Ten things for a Friday night of football on the North Suncoast:
1. Pasco and Zephyrhills used to have the county’s best rivalry, but it has faded in recent years and I wonder: Are Wiregrass Ranch and Wesley Chapel better, despite the lack of stature of the teams? I think until the 9-Mile War gets back to some level of parity, the answer is yes. If Wiregrass Ranch wins tonight, make it a heck yes.
2. You know what makes a football rivalry great? A mall right in between the two schools. Yeah …a mall.
3. Wiregrass quarterback James Tringali still hasn’t had that breakout game, but tonight would be the best time for it. Last year, the Bulls were supposed to beat the Wildcats, but Tringali was harassed into a woeful performance (5-for-12, 38 yards, two interceptions). He gets one more chance to leave his mark or face banishment from The Shops at Wiregrass.
4. Is Mitchell for real, again? Dunno. Ask me Saturday morning after the Mustangs play their first tough opponent of the season in Clearwater Central Catholic.
5. Is Ricky Trinidad for real, again? Absolutely. I know — heck, he knows — the level of competition he’s been seeing is held against him, and he’s certainly not going to average 25 yards a carry all season, but Trinidad has legitimate 4.4-4.5 speed and is beastly shaking off tackles. CCC will be ready for him.
6. But, fair or not, Trinidad will ultimately be measured solely by how he performs in the final two weeks against Land O’Lakes and Pasco. Last year, he missed the Pasco game with an injury.
7. Pasco transfer Willie Jackson was headed to Nature Coast in the offseason until the Florida High School Athletic Association stepped in and suggested otherwise. Tonight, he’ll finally make it to Brooksville, but as a member of district rival Crystal River.
In two games, Jackson has 379 yards on 52 carries for the unbeaten Pirates.
8. Land O’Lakes has won eight of its past nine meetings against Springstead, outscoring the Eagles 246-58 in the victories.
9. Fivay, which has played junior varsity games the first two weeks (and won them both by 38-7 and 49-6 scores), plays its first varsity contest when it hosts Central.
10. It’s Gulf-Ridgewood week! You know what that means — a former Ridgewood running back goes off for Gulf against his former Ram teammates.
In 2007, David Williams ran 41 times for 268 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2008, Adrian Golden ran for a county-record 432 yards and six touchdowns.
In 2009, Austin Jackson only ran for 31 yards, but scored twice.
Jackson gets another chance tonight.