ZEPHYRHILLS — Resurgent Zephyrhills continued its turnaround season and took one step closer to a possible playoff berth with a dominating performance in Friday's 49-0 homecoming win over Class 5A, District 6 foe Ridgewood.
The Bulldogs (5-2, 5-0) share the 5A-6 lead with Pasco and play at Fivay next week, with the winner of that game likely becoming the district runnerup. Zephyrhills, which had just five wins the previous two seasons, last made the playoffs in 2006.
"Our No. 1 goal is to play in the postseason," Zephyrhills coach Reggie Roberts said. "We win next week, we're in."
Jamal Roberts ran for three touchdowns and passed for another — all in the first half — to lead the Bulldogs. The senior quarterback finished with 122 yards (87 rushing, 35 passing).
Roberts burst up the middle for a 54-yard touchdown run on the third play from scrimmage before making Ridgewood (1-7, 1-4) pay for back-to-back turnovers.
Two fumble recoveries led to Roberts' 10-yard scoring pass to Justin Swanstrom and his 4-yard scramble into the end zone.
Zephyrhills built a 42-0 halftime lead on scoring runs of 41 and 22 yards by Devario Mathis and Roberts, respectively, and Devon Brockington's 69-yard fumble return.
The second half was played with a running clock, the third time Zephyrhills has won this year under that format. The Bulldogs added a 2-yard touchdown run by Jacob Smith in the third quarter to close out the scoring.
Ridgewood's offense struggled with quarterback Bob Peck passing for 73 yards and Tyler Vito gaining 45 yards on 13 carries.