DADE CITY — Mitchell had a little trouble on its first play from scrimmage, but not much the rest of the way, cruising past Pasco in both teams' Class 6A, District 6 opener. The game was not as close as the final score indicated, with undefeated Mitchell leading 24-0 at halftime, and 38-7 before the Pirates starters got a pair of touchdowns against Mustangs reserves.
Key plays: After forcing a Pasco punt to start the night, Mitchell fumbled on its first play (Gavyn Sowell recovering) and the Pirates took over well inside Mustangs territory. But Adam Rogers intercepted a pass to prevent Pasco (3-2, 0-1) from gaining any further early momentum.
Key drive: After the interception, the Mustangs (5-0, 1-0) got a 7-yard run from Mychael Hamilton, a Jakob Mattos 15-yard pass to Chris Thomas — and most importantly — on third and long, a beautiful 37-yard TD strike over the middle from Mattos to Kym-mani King as the visitors established control.
Stars of the game: Mitchell's offense was balanced, with Hamilton running for 167 yards and two touchdowns, the second a nice answer after Pasco had gotten its first points on an exciting 95-yard hookup with quarterback Dylan Wood and Darrion Robinson early in the third quarter. … Spencer Conard added 115 yards on the ground for Mitchell, all in the second half, while Mattos went 8-of-11 for 146 yards and a pair of scores himself, the other to Thomas. … Rogers nearly had another interception and added a sack. … Luis Rivera recovered a fumble and combined with Sherrell Stuart for a Mustangs sack. … On just three touches, Pasco senior Jaleel Hansberry went for 70 yards, including the last 35 for a touchdown reception after Mitchell fumbled in the final minute. … Wood threw for 242 yards, all but eight in the second half, on 8-of-21 passing. … Robinson caught four passes for 127 yards. … Jacquez Mobley had a 58-yard reception and a pick for the Pirates. … Early Knight ran for 95 yards and a Pasco touchdown.
Stats of the game: Mitchell ran for 282 yards on 32 carries and totaled 408 yards for the game. Pasco had a respectable 365 yards, with nearly half of them coming on three plays: Wood's two touchdown passes and the long Mobley pickup.
Final word: "We're rolling pretty good right now, but we gotta fix some little mistakes. Next week is going to be tough" — Mattos, referencing a game with Springstead that may very well decide the district championship. The game, originally scheduled the weekend Hurricane Irma hit Tampa Bay, is at Mitchell next Friday.