Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Football: Sunlake 17, Pasco 6

LAND O'LAKES — Pasco's Division I darling was cramping and its offense was sputtering when the whispers started on the Sunlake sideline.

Pasco's streak ends tonight.

Two quarters later, those murmurs turned into roars after the Seahawks handed the Pirates their first Pasco County loss in more than five years in Friday night's season-opening 17-6 upset.

"They've been king of the county for a long, long time," Sunlake coach Bill Browning said.

Until the Seahawks' defense dethroned them, at least for one night.

Sunlake (1-0) dominated from the start, with two sacks in the first four plays, and Austin Yeloushan forced one of Pasco's five fumbles.

The Seahawks took advantage with Logan Wolfe's 15-yard rush and Jacob Guzman's two-point conversion late in the first quarter.

Pasco (0-1) responded immediately. Malik Johns fumbled the ensuing kickoff, scooped it up and raced 95 yards for a score that cut Sunlake's lead to 8-6.

But Sunlake's defense shut the high-powered Pirates offense out the rest of the way. Johns and standout sophomore Nate Craig combined for only 86 receiving yards, and both battled cramps on a muggy evening.

The Seahawks sacked Pasco's Ben Chandler five times, with Ben Wood adding a fumble recovery and Guzman intercepting a pass.

"This feels like the Super Bowl, man," said Yeloushan, who finished with three sacks. "This is the best day of my life."

Sunlake extended its lead on the first play of the third quarter. Wolfe, a 5-foot-10 junior, took a handoff, found a gaping hole and rumbled 64 yards for a game-sealing score.

"I was surprised," Wolfe said. "I didn't know I had that in me."

The Pirates could never get closer.

They advanced into the Sunlake red zone twice in the third quarter. Wood and Yeloushan stuffed a Jaquan Clower rush inside the 5 on one fourth down, and Wood dropped Clower for no gain at the 20 on the next possession.

The Pirates never seriously threatened again, prompting coach Tom McHugh to call his team's offense "non-existent."

The defeat was Pasco's first in the regular season since a 32-7 loss at South Sumter in September 2009 — a streak of 38 games.

The Pirates hadn't lost to a Pasco County opponent since a 14-7 defeat to Zephyrhills in October 2007 in McHugh's rookie season. They won the week after that contest, throttling Sunlake 42-0, and rolled to 44 consecutive county wins before facing the Seahawks again on Friday night.

"I told the kids, 'We were the chosen ones to end it," Browning said after receiving a Gatorade shower for one of the biggest victories in his program's history. "They came out and did it."

Matt Baker can be reached at or on Twitter @MattHomeTeam.

Football: Sunlake 17, Pasco 6 08/30/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 30, 2013 11:47pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze resigns over 'inappropriate conduct' (w/ video)


    OXFORD, Miss. — Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was at Jackson Country Club on Wednesday night, giving his yearly rah-rah speech about the Rebels overcoming adversity and getting ready for the college football season.

    If Hugh Freeze hadn’t resigned, Ole Miss says it would have fired him for violating his contract’s moral turpitude clause.
  2. Fennelly: With playoff chase in high gear, it's time for Rays to make a move

    The Heater


    Thursday was an off-day for the Rays, who are coming off a solid western swing. I assume there was no rest for the tag-team Rays baseball brain trust of Matt Silverman, Erik Neander and Chaim Bloom, whose job it is to improve this team in advance of the trade deadline. They've done a good job …

    Evan Longoria is glad to see the Rangers coming to town: He’s batting .296 against them with 15 homers and 56 RBIs in 69 career games.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    PORT CHARLOTTE, FL - FEBRUARY 18:  Alex Cobb #53 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays photo day on February 18, 2017 at Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte, Floida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
  4. Good news for Rays on Steven Souza Jr. as MRI shows 'no damage' to hip


    The Rays got good news today on RF Steven Souza Jr., as an MRI showed "no damage" to his left hip.

    Steven Souza Jr. #20 of the Tampa Bay Rays holds his leg after hurting himself trying to steal second base in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Oakland Alameda Coliseum on July 19, 2017 in Oakland, California.
  5. Bucs raise prices for single tickets to marquee games


    The Bucs will have single-game tickets for 2017 home games on sale July 28, with a new wrinkle: the best games will cost more for fans.

    Bucs fans cheer Jameis Winston after a victory in their final home game of the 2016 season. Individual tickets for the Bucs' three most coveted home games (against the Patriots, Bears and Giants) will cost more in 2017.