NEW PORT RICHEY — Lightning had no effect on Zephyrhills and Gulf on Friday night, but special teams for both squads provided plenty of lightning in a 51-20 Bulldogs victory.
Gulf (0-2) took the lead with 5:44 left in the first quarter when quarterback Avery Welch hooked up with RaQuan Hayes to make it 7-0. Gulf was looking to extend its lead early in the second quarter but Reggie Roberts Jr. came up with an interception to give his team the spark it needed.
The Bulldogs (2-0) went 95 yards in eight plays, capped by a 1-yard run from Malik Mutcherson for an 8-7 lead.
Jaylen Pickett added a rushing touchdown three minutes later.
Gulf’s next play resulted in a lost fumble, and the Bulldogs’ next play 12 seconds later was a dazzling 35-yard touchdown run by Tre Everett.
The Bulldogs added a safety before halftime.
Then special teams for both teams took over. After a 21-yard touchdown run for Zephyrhills, Gulf’s Montavious Reed ran back the kickoff 92 yards to cut the lead to 30-14.
Zephyrhills answered right back when Jordan Roberts outdid Reed’s run by 6 yards for his 96-yard kickoff return.
Zephyrhills’ Devon Brockington had the highlight play of the evening as he returned a kickoff 99 yards with 7:35 remaining for the final score.