WESLEY CHAPEL — Zephyrhills overcame its underdog status — not to mention a slew of penalties — to trounce host Wesley Chapel 38-16 in Friday's Class 5A, District 6 opener for both teams.
"It feels great," Zephyrhills coach Reggie Roberts said. "This game was already given to them. We didn't even have to play this game. Well, this is Friday night football. You strap it up. My boys put it all on the field."
After Wesley Chapel (2-1) went ahead 8-7 on Keegan Tanner's 3-yard run and a two-point conversion by Devin Piper, the Bulldogs (1-2) reeled off 31 straight points. Piper added a 2-yard touchdown run and conversion in the fourth quarter.
Leading Zephyrhills' offensive charge was Jamal Roberts, who ran for four touchdowns and passed for another. The senior quarterback ran for 162 yards and passed for 52, accounting for 214 of his team's 292 yards. His scoring runs went for 67, 26, 7 and 69 yards; and he threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Josh Roberts.
"We all knew it was going to take a few games for this offense to click," Reggie Roberts said. "We put in a few more wrinkles."
The Bulldogs struggled with penalties, being flagged 17 times for 162 yards.
"We're going to correct that. We're going to be a better team," Reggie Roberts said.
Piper led the Wildcats with 116 rushing yards on 19 carries and Tanner contributed 61 yards. He gained 46 yards but struggled in the passing game, completing just 1 of 10 for 15 yards.