ZEPHYRHILLS — Zephyrhills came into Friday's game against Gulf riding the high of its first victory.
But the Buccaneers took the wind out of the Bulldogs' sails with a 29-7 win.
The Bulldogs started strong on defense, forcing Gulf to punt on their first two drives. Zephyrhills used some tricks as Jamal Roberts went toward the Bulldogs sideline as if he was out of the game, then Charles Smith lofted a 51-yard touchdown pass to Roberts for the opening score.
The Buccaneers had a tough first half, punting the ball four times. Gulf scored late in the second quarter when quarterback Madison Burr hit fellow senior Thomas Polito on a 1-yard jump pass. The Bulldogs went into halftime with a 7-6 lead.
The Bucs came out with a balanced attack, keeping the Bulldogs on their toes. Burr scored quickly in the third quarter, shaking off a defender for a 4-yard run. Burr later threw a 15-yard touchdown to senior David Ramirez.
"You can't take them lightly," coach Jay Fulmer said of Zephyrhills. "They have athletes and they are always well coached."