North Suncoast: Week 2 Sunday Morning QB

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Sat. September 8, 2012 | Matt Baker | Email

North Suncoast: Week 2 Sunday Morning QB

North Suncoast Super 7

1. Pasco (1-0): The Pirates regain the top spot, bouncing back from a preseason loss to Hernando to demolish Land O'Lakes.

2. Springstead (2-0): It's early, but the Eagles have been one of Tampa Bay's most impressive teams. Can they keep it up?

3. Mitchell (2-0): Ditto.

4. Sunlake (2-0): The Seahawks must hang onto the ball if they want to make a run at a district title.

5. Hernando (0-2): If the Leopards stop turning the ball over, expect another playoff run.

6. Land O'Lakes (1-1): A shoulder injury to standout RB Harrison Wood could hurt if he misses more action.

7. Fivay (1-1): A Falcons offense that looked great against River Ridge couldn't hang with Springstead.

Offense MVP

Cole Teater, Central

When starting QB Cody Brooks went down, Teater stepped in. He overcame a costly interception and led his team to 22 consecutive points to end the Bears' 13-game losing streak.

Defense/special teams MVP

James Garland, River Ridge

His 16-yard field goal in the closing two minutes helped the Royal Knights edge Ridgewood 17-14.

Breakout performances

Jake Day, Wiregrass Ranch

The senior stepped in at quarterback, and ran for one touchdown and threw for another to help his team scare Sunlake in the second half.

Elton Grigley, Ridgewood

The senior running back had 150 yards on 15 carries in one of the Rams' best rushing games in years.

Daniel Wright, Springstead

The sophomore running back plowed for 124 yards and two touchdowns against Fivay.

What we learned in Week 2

We know nothing about these teams. That's an exaggeration, but Week 2 was full of surprises: Springstead's 38-0 shellacking of Fivay, Ridgewood nearly knocking off River Ridge and Sunlake squeaking by Wiregrass Ranch. Maybe the week was a fluke. Maybe it was a sign of parity. We'll find out when district play begins.

Springstead is legit. You can overlook impressive shutouts of Hudson and Ridgewood, but a blowout win over a Fivay team that ranks among Pasco County's top squads made a statement. The Eagles have a stout defense and a good ground game. Who would have thought coach Bill Vonada's team would be the only undefeated team in Hernando County after two weeks?

Pasco has more than just Janarion Grant. It was fair to wonder how deep the Pirates were after a lackluster performance in a 21-7 preseason loss to Hernando, when Grant was out with an ankle injury. But with Grant missing from Friday's game against Land O'Lakes because of a broken hand, Pasco dominated. Jajuan Henry, David Emmanuel and James McClinton all had at least one touchdown and 90 yards. The Pirates won't get far in the playoffs without their star athlete, but they should have no problems until he returns, likely in three or four weeks.

Some rebuilding projects are getting closer to completion. Start with Central, which earned its first win since October 2010 by knocking off Wildwood. Ridgewood, which led midway through the fourth quarter after a fake punt by Brandon Ware, took a powerful River Ridge team to the final minutes. Wiregrass Ranch didn't cave against a strong Sunlake team, a week after collapsing against Wesley Chapel. Moral victories matter in high school sports; Wiregrass Ranch and Ridgewood each earned them Friday.

Class 6A, District 6 is up for grabs. Hernando is 0-2. So is Nature Coast. Sunlake and River Ridge earned close victories this week against rebuilding programs, while Land O'Lakes is reeling from a tough loss to Pasco. Mitchell and Springstead look like the district's top teams so far, winning their two games by a combined 86-0, but can they keep it up when the competition gets tougher?

Three thoughts heading into Week 3

1. Yawn. The last week before district play means many North Suncoast teams are taking the week off. That list includes Land O'Lakes, Gulf, River Ridge and Sunlake.

2. Hernando will have its hands full. The Leopards' brutal nondistrict schedule finishes against a South Sumter team that has won its two games by a combined score of 132-28 and has one of the country's top talents, Florida commitment Keanu Neal. Hernando doesn't need to win, but it does need to limit its turnovers and play better in the second half.

3. Pasco, Mitchell and Springstead should all remain undefeated. They'll roll into district play with double-digit victories over Wiregrass Ranch, Ridgewood and Anclote.

In case you missed it

• QB David Tinch and RB Jon King are the answer to a trivia question. Tinch's 4-yard touchdown pass to King was the first home varsity touchdown in Weeki Wachee history.

• Nature Coast RB Matt Breida had his eighth 100-yard game in his last 12 contests. He rushed for 139 yards and scored the Sharks' only touchdown against Fleming Island.

• Mitchell's 51-0 thrashing of Gulf was the Mustangs' biggest scoring output against a Pasco County team since a 51-22 win over Zephyrhills in October 2010.

• Wiregrass Ranch totaled 114 yards of offense and had almost as many touchdowns (two) as first downs (three) in a close loss to Sunlake.

The last word

Central's 28-17 victory over Wildwood was a long time coming. The Bears' last on-the-field win came in its eighth game of 2010 when they beat Lecanto 10-7. Since then, Central lost 13 games in a row by a combined 541 points. Excluding forfeits, Central had won only once in its previous 36 games. The Bears made strides in a preseason loss to Zephyrhills and hung with Weeki Wachee early in the opener. Coach Mike Einspahr's team finally put its talent together in Week 2 with a win that will go a long way toward rebuilding this program.

 

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