Shut down one Pirates playmaker and three others are waiting to pounce



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Wed. November 24, 2010 | Bryan Burns

Shut down one Pirates playmaker and three others are waiting to pounce

DADE CITY — They go by nicknames like Tre Day, M Clow, J Dog and, oddly enough, Dave.

Together, they’ve combined for 53 touchdowns and more than 3,200 yards of total offense.

They are Pasco’s quartet of game-breaking playmakers. A foursome so fierce, they leave defenders quaking in their cleats.
To opposing teams, they’re like the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Mike Clower, the lone senior of the group, has 23 receptions on the season and has taken over a third of those catches (eight) into the end zone.

Sophomore Janarion Grant exploded onto the Pasco scene as a freshman, scoring 16 touchdowns a year ago. This season, he’s proven to be a rushing and receiving threat with five touchdowns on the ground and seven through the air.

Tre Dudley-Giles might be the most versatile of Pasco’s fantastic four. Dudley-Giles has caught nine touchdown passes, rushed for a score out of the wildcat formation, thrown for a score, intercepted a pass for a score and returned three punts for touchdowns.

“Trey, he can do everything,” Clower said.

Then there’s sophomore David Emmanuel, the running back with the flashy game sans the catchy nickname — “I don’t need one, I like my name,” he said. Emmanuel leads the group with 18 touchdowns and has rushed for more than 1,000 yards this season.

The premise behind the Pasco offense this season is simple: get the ball in the hands of one of these four and watch out.

“If we get a seam, all we need is one little block and we’re gone,” Emmanuel said.

Of their 53 touchdowns, 31 have gone for 20 yards or more.

“The big plays we make, I’m like, ‘Wow, I didn’t know we could do that,’ ” Dudley-Giles said. “Now that I know we can do that, I think we can do it every game.”

Usually teams have one playmaker, maybe two if they’re lucky. But four?

“You focus on one of us, one of the others is going to make a play,” Dudley-Giles, a junior, said.

“We take it as a competition, whoever gets the most yards,” Clower added. “We get mad, too, when we lose the competition, but still you just try to do better next time.”

And that’s the beauty of Pasco’s attack. With so many skilled athletes, it could be difficult to get everyone his touches and keep them all happy. But the players insist there’s never any animosity. They say they look at each other like brothers, pushing each other to work hard and perform at a high level when their number is called.

“We work as a team to make plays and win the game,” Grant said. “…We don’t really worry about the stats, just play the game because we love football.”

In Friday’s region semifinal at Jefferson, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, the Pirates will need all four of their weapons firing on all cylinders to advance.

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