Another week is in the books, and some questions are starting to be answered on the North Suncoast. First prediction: Nature Coast and Hernando will meet Nov. 5 with the Class 3A, District 6 title on the line. Both are solid all-around teams, and both have made quick work of their opponents. This will be the biggest game to date in the rivalry. Bank on it. Next prediction: Mitchell's Ricky Trinidad will run away with the North Suncoast rushing title. In two games, Trinidad has 18 carries for 398 yards and five touchdowns. That's more than 20 yards per carry. Final prediction: Gulf will have a winning season. Some of the Buccaneers faithful groaned about a near upset to River Ridge on Friday night. Consider what the team has endured, and a 2-0 start is remarkable. Looking at the schedule ahead, there's no reason the Buccaneers shouldn't be toasting a winning season by year's end. It comes down to the preparation and the determination of the locker room. How bad do they want to win? The talent is there.
North Suncoast Super Seven
1. Pasco (1-0)
Last week: def. Plantation American Heritage 35-20
This week: vs. South Sumter
2. Land O'Lakes (1-0)
Last week: bye
This week: at Springstead
3. Hernando (2-0)
Last week: def. Lecanto 35-7
This week: bye
4. Nature Coast (2-0)
Last week: def. Springstead 38-7
This week: vs. Crystal River
5. Mitchell (2-0)
Last week: def. Ridgewood 42-3
This week: vs. Clearwater Central Catholic
6. Sunlake (1-0)
Last week: bye
This week: at Hudson
7. Gulf (2-0)
Last week: def. River Ridge 26-20
This week: at Ridgewood
Other receiving consideration: Wesley Chapel, Wiregrass Ranch
Three things we learned
1. Mitchell is scary good. The Mustangs are 2-0 and have outscored opponents 83-3. Concerns about a restocked offensive line have been put to rest. Ricky Trinidad has made the most of his touches, breaking big gains for scores so frequently that they don't need to hand him the ball too often. That could help keep Trinidad in better health after a back injury last season forced him to miss a key district game against Pasco.
2. Nature Coast is Nature Coast. The best coaching move of the year thus far goes to Sharks first-year coach Mark Nash, left, who moved Ja'Juan Story from receiver to quarterback after the spring. The threat of Story and Isaac Bailey in the backfield gives the Sharks variety and opponents a headache trying to stop the rushing attack.
3. Pasco power. The Pirates rolled over Plantation American Heritage, and coach Tom McHugh made it clear afterward the focus needs to be on South Sumter. Last season, the Pirates opened with a win against American Heritage, then traveled to South Sumter, where they were upended 32-7. McHugh blamed a lack of focus for the letdown, so he wanted to stress the importance of good preparation this week. A win would do a lot for Pasco's confidence.
"I want us to work just as hard next week as we did this week vs. this team. (South Sumter) is up the road, and sometimes you have that letdown and they can't let down. I don't want to lose, and I'm sure the kids don't want to either."
Tom McHugh, Pasco coach
|Pasco offensive line||The line paved the way for 331 rushing yards and gave QB Jacob Guy ample time in the pocket to make easy reads in the Pirates' 35-20 win over Plantation American Heritage.|
|RB Ricky Trinidad, Sr., Mitchell||Amassed 242 yards on 10 carries, with touchdown runs of 37, 99 and 80 yards.|
|RB Devin Piper, Jr., Wesley Chapel||Ran for four touchdowns in a 48-14 win against Hudson. He had touchdown runs of 30, 3, 72 and 15 yards.|
|RB Isaac Bailey, Sr., Nature Coast||Finished with 21 carries for 185 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-7 victory over Springstead.|
|QB Ja'Juan Story, Sr., Nature Coast||The Florida oral commitment ran nine times for 77 yards and two touchdowns against Springstead.|
|RB Clifford Phillips, Sr., Pasco||Had seven carries for 102 yards and a touchdown behind the aforementioned line against American Heritage.|
|RB David Emmanuel, Jr., Pasco||Finished with 13 carries for 84 yards and four touchdowns against American Heritage.|
|RB Austin Jackson, Sr., Gulf||Finished with 10 carries for 120 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in a 26-20 win over River Ridge. He also caught a TD pass.|
Clear as Crystal
This summer, Pasco turned in Nature Coast for recruiting two of its football players: David Emmanuel and Willie Jackson. Emmanuel remained at Pasco, and Jackson has turned up at Crystal River. Both have had an impact for their teams, especially Jackson, who torched Central with 32 carries for 169 yards.
Former Gulf coach Jay Fulmer made his first appearance since his resignation amid a recruiting scandal. Fulmer watched his son, Will, who is the quarterback of his former team, in Gulf's 26-20 win against River Ridge. Fulmer was replaced by assistant Ken Hollar, who is 2-0 as a first-time head coach.
Times correspondent Andy Villamarzo contributed to this report. Izzy Gould can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 421-3886.
|Pasco offensive line||The line paved the way for 331 yards rushing and gave ample time in the pocket for quarterback Jacob Guy to make easy reads in the Pirates' 35-20 win over Plantation American Heritage Friday night.|
|RB Ricky Trinidad Sr., Mitchell||Amassed 242 yards on 10 carries with touchdown runs of 47, 99 and 80 yards.|
|RB Devin Piper Jr., Wesley Chapel||Ran for four touchdowns in Friday's 48-14 win against Hudson. He had TD runs of 30, 3, 72 and 15 yards.|
|RB Isaac Bailey Sr., Nature Coast||Finished with 21 carries for 185 yards and three touchdowns.|
|QB Ja'Juan Story Sr., Nature Coast||The Florida oral commitment ran nine times for 77 yards and two touchdowns.|
|RB Clifford Phillips Sr., Pasco||Had seven carried for 102 yards and a touchdown.|
|RB David Emmanuel Jr., Pasco||Finished with 13 carries for 84 yards and four touchdowns.|
|RB Austin Jackson Sr., Gulf||Finished with 13 carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns.|