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Spring football: Pasco 35, Land O’Lakes 15

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Thu. May 23, 2013 | Matt Baker | Email

At Land O’Lakes
Score: Pasco 35, Land O’Lakes 15

Spring game-breakers: In the first spring game of his high school career, Pasco sophomore WR/S Nate Craig showed why he has landed 16 college offers since the fall. He racked up 155 yards on four offensive touches, scoring on a 67-yard rush and a 52-yard catch, and snagged an interception at the goal line. “They made the blocks,” Craig said of his line. “I just went through the holes, and there we go. Touchdown.” The Pirates scored the game’s first 35 points thanks to a 30-yard touchdown pass from Ben Chandler to Malik Johns, a 4-yard rush from Shaquaille Delaine and a 63-yard interception return by Phillip Wilson. Lane Stancil forced and recovered a fumble. … Gators QB James Pensyl finished 8-of-17, threw a TD pass to Kamal Wells and added 30 rushing yards as he battles for the starting job. Austin McGuire had a breakout performance, rushing eight times for 62 yards and a TD. David Gilbertson and Deionte Strozier each had interceptions for Land O’Lakes, and Noah Randall pressured Pasco into a safety just before halftime. Both teams used JV players during the fourth quarter.

Injuries: Gators QB Ethan Weilant, who injured his shoulder last season, was not in uniform. One of Pasco’s promising tight ends, Bowman Archibald, left the game in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury. RB/K Brandon Ray and Johns were also dinged up, but Pasco coach Tom McHugh said they were not seriously injured.

Did you know? Land O’Lakes honored longtime coach John Benedetto by adorning their helmets with stickers bearing his initials. Benedetto, for whom the Gators’ stadium is named, died last month at the age of 66.

Audible 1: “He’s getting it.” — McHugh on Chandler, who finished 4-of-7 with one interception and one touchdown

Audible 2: “I’m extremely proud of them responding to the challenge that was given to them at halftime. But I said, ‘Never forget the sick feeling we had in our stomachs the first half of this football game. We never want to have that feeling again.’ ” — Land O’Lakes coach Brian Wachtel

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