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Football: Wiregrass Ranch believes it will be in the playoff hunt

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Tue. September 29, 2009 | Izzy Gould | Email

Wiregrass Ranch has won three games for the first time in a single season.

At 3-1, first-year coach Jeremy Shobe believes the Bulls have a good shot at a playoff berth.

A lot will depend on if Wiregrass can withstand the brutal stretch it faces the next few weeks.

After winning last week's game at Ridgewood, the Bulls still have three consecutive road ending Oct. 23 at Tarpon Springs in a huge Class 4A, District 6 matchup. This week, they have a bye.

The Bulls end with three home games, two against district foes River Ridge and Hudson, then ending with Pasco.

"It's going to get exciting," Shobe said. "We think we'll be in it. (Wesley) Chapel woke us up to realize anything can happen."

After a 23-8 loss to Wesley Chapel, the Bulls are almost back a full health after a flu bug passed through the locker room.

Running back Josh Johnson (75 carries, 580 yards, three TDs) is no longer feeling the effects of a mild concussion that kept him from playing all but two plays in the first half against the Wildcats. He rushed 19 times for 162 yards and a touchdown against the Rams.

And quarterback James Tringali improved after a horrific performance against the Wildcats and has completed 77 percent of his passes for 307 yards, one TD and four interceptions. Shobe said Jonathon Economu, who is the starting tight end, will continue to get repetitions at quarterback.

"As long as James does what he did Friday, he's the guy," Shobe said. "I don't feel like we have to worry about it that much. We have to figure out what's going to be successful for us. We had to adapt from where we thought we'd be this season. We thought we'd be a spread attack, but we lean more on the running game. He's all right as long as he keeps growing."

igould@sptimes.com

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