Pasco’s Trey Dudley-Giles had one message to the audience Tuesday in Week 2 of the Pasco County 7-on-7 league: “I’m back.”
Dudley-Giles saw his first live action with his teammates since being forced to the sideline the first week of spring football drills with mononucleosis. In the Pirates’ ultra-competitive contest against Wesley Chapel, Dudley-Giles caught the winning score from quarterback Jacob Guy on a 15-yard post pattern with less than a minute to go.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound rising senior who holds offers from Rutgers, Florida Atlantic, Eastern Michigan and East Carolina hardly left the field Tuesday, playing cornerback and linking up with Guy several times on offense.
Pasco defeated Wesley Chapel five touchdowns to four in the most entertaining game of the evening. Wesley Chapel had no answer for Pasco’s smoothly efficient aerial attack, but the Wildcats’ offense matched the Pirates nearly score for score. And they did it with a quarterback, rising senior Angel Locicero, who had never played the position before.
“I thought we took a big leap forward today,” Wesley Chapel coach Ben Alford said. “To only lose by one score to Pasco in a 7-on-7 in which they’re tooled for and the quarterback they have and the receiving corps they have …that’s a big confidence booster for us.”
Wesley Chapel had one final opportunity to score before time expired, but Locicero’s hail Mary pass was intercepted by Raheem Wigfall, who had his second straight productive week for the Pirates’ 7-on-7 team.
Allen’s back at River Ridge …kind of
Former Royal Knights coach Gary Allen was walking the home sidelines at River Ridge on Tuesday. Allen, who stepped down as coach May 31, just days after coaching the Royal Knights in a 41-34 spring loss to Fivay, is still very much involved with the football program since new coach Ryan Benjamin was hired.
Allen was tabbed to replace Tim Stevens in January but lasted a little more than four months before calling it quits due to a medical issue.
“While I’m still trying to give Coach Benjamin some space to build relationships, I’m still going to do whatever I can to be a part of the program,” Allen said. “Whatever I can do physically and whatever he would like me to do, I’d still like to be a part of all this.
“He’s been nice enough to say he’s just building upon what we already have started, and he’s doing a great job of it. I’m still committed to these kids and turning this thing around, and I think this may be the group of kids to do it.”
Almost play of the day
Pasco executed the hook and lateral play to perfection against Wesley Chapel. Guy threw a pass 10 yards down field to Dudley-Giles, who then pitched the ball backward to David Emmanuel running at full speed.
Emmanuel easily coasted into the end zone. The play, however, was blown dead at the spot of Dudley-Giles’ catch after it was ruled the receiver had been touched before the lateral.
Sharks swarming secondary
In Nature Coast’s first team activity under new coach Charles Liggett, the longtime defensive coordinator turned head coach pointed out many positives for a Sharks team experiencing life without all-around athlete and University of Florida signee Ja’Juan Story.
For starters, Nature Coast may have the most dangerous secondary in the North Suncoast. Two-way standout Matt Breida, a rising junior, is slated to start at running back and one of the corner spots. The opposite corner is manned by senior-to-be Patrick Suarez, who doesn’t have a lot of experience but looked very impressive in 7-on-7 games against Gulf and Anclote.
“(Suarez) hasn’t played since he was a freshman, but he’s always had good grades so that wasn’t the problem,” Liggett said. “He’s had to work and stuff like that, but he’s shown a lot of promise. But he also has a lot of work to do as well. He’s made a lot of plays throughout the spring and during this first 7-on-7.
“Breida is going to be our starting running back and also at corner, and we’d like him to go both ways. But it’s a fatigue factor we’re going to have to watch out for. I’m sure he’d say he could do it easily, but once you start to take that pounding at running back, it becomes a little different.”
Breida was a St. Petersburg Times’ all-North Suncoast honorable mention last season.
Compiled by staff writer Bryan Burns and correspondent Andy Villamarzo.