What we learned
1. Cameron Stoltz is legit. Critics could say the Sunlake quarterback put up great numbers against weak competition. They can't say that now. Sure, the 6-foot senior threw his first two interceptions of the year Friday, but he also rushed for a touchdown and rebounded with a 60-yard bomb to Rashaud Daniels with 3:19 left to give the Seahawks a 13-8 win over Nature Coast. Can he deliver another big game this week against Hernando that could decide the district title?
2. Don't forget about Land O'Lakes. The Gators' 48-28 win over Mitchell wasn't as close as the final score indicated. Land O'Lakes contained the Mustangs offense, and QB Ryan Bird lived up to his potential (275 yards, three touchdowns). The Gators' loss to Hernando could bite them in Class 6A, District 6, but don't count them out yet. If Land O'Lakes can get by Nature Coast this week and Sunlake the next, the Gators will likely be headed to the playoffs for the sixth consecutive season.
3. Hernando may be the fastest team in 6A-6. Before the season began, many picked the Leopards as the district favorites. A slow start changed some opinions, but one thing that has become increasingly obvious in victories over Land O'Lakes and River Ridge is that Hernando has a ton of speed. In a 61-14 win over the Royal Knights on Friday night, not one player was able to get to the outside of the Hernando defense. And on offense, almost every player who touched the ball had the capability of breaking it for a big gain.
4. Fivay is dangerous. The Falcons have offensive balance with two good running backs (Kyrie Rodriguez, Bryan Poinsette) and a passing attack that included Pasco County's leading receiver entering Week 5 (James Bullock). Looking back, let's also remember that the second-year program is only a punt block in Week 1 against River Ridge from being undefeated this season.
5. Pasco is still the area's top team. Another week, another 50-point outburst. The Pirates' 57-12 win over Wesley Chapel was Pasco's fourth consecutive game of at least 50 points and their fifth overall this year. Jacob Guy threw for three touchdowns, Janarion Grant had a couple scores, and so did David Emmanuel. Pasco (6-0) will have to overcome this lack of competition in the playoffs when games will be closer and defenses will be tougher, but it should enjoy the fireworks for the rest of the regular season.
"It's probably one of the biggest ones." — Bill Browning, Sunlake coach, on where the 13-8 win over Nature Coast ranks in school history
"We're ready for them." Tyrail Hawkins, Hernando ATH, on next week's showdown with Sunlake
Hernando (4-2, 3-0) at Sunlake (5-0, 3-0): The 6A-6 district title could come down to the winner of Friday's Sunlake-Hernando game. Both teams are 3-0 in the district. Both have impressive, physical defenses. Expect this to be a tough, low-scoring game, with the team that commits the fewest turnovers getting in the driver's seat for the district crown.
Times correspondent Derek J. LaRiviere contributed to this report.
RB Matt Breida, Nature Coast: Sunlake kept him in check for most of the night, but the county's rushing leader still came through with the go-ahead touchdown and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter of Friday's 13-8 loss.
ATH Rashaud Daniels, Sunlake: The senior receiver/defensive back had a first-quarter interception on his own half of the field and broke free on the winning 60-yard touchdown pass from Cameron Stoltz against Nature Coast.
QB Jacob Guy, Pasco: The senior Division-I prospect was 10-of-15 passing for 190 yards and three touchdowns. Oh, and he kicked a 37-yard field goal in the 57-12 win over Wesley Chapel.
ATH Tyrail Hawkins, Hernando: The junior's line in a 61-14 win over River Ridge was impressive: 12 touches, 421 total yards, five touchdowns. Hawkins has become one of the most dangerous offensive weapons on the North Suncoast.
RB Freddie Jones, Mitchell: The speedy senior rushed for 145 yards and a touchdown in the Mustangs' 48-28 loss to Land O'Lakes.
QB Tyler Mahla, Springstead: Scored on a 66-yard run early in the game and passed for two more scores to help the Eagles beat Central 26-7 and end a three-game losing streak.
S Darin Patmon, Land O'Lakes: The Gators' special teams star blocked two punts, scooping the ball up and scoring on the second one to seize momentum in a 48-28 win over Mitchell.
WR Ryan Patterson, Anclote: Two of his four catches were touchdowns. He had 109 receiving yards to lead the Sharks to a 41-6 win over Ridgewood, Anclote's first victory of the year.
QB RJ Perciavalle, Bishop McLaughlin: The sophomore continued his strong season with two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in the Hurricanes' 62-30 loss to Landmark Christian.
LB Willis Reeves, Fivay: His two sacks and multiple other pressures made it difficult for Cobra QB Joseph Caruso to get the ball off in the Falcons' 35-0 win over Hudson.
LB/FB Zach Sullivan, Hernando: On the same night he was crowned homecoming king, Sullivan scored a touchdown on the ground in Hernando's 61-14 rout of River Ridge and picked off a pass inside the opposing 10-yard line to set up another score.
Zephyrhills' defense: The Bulldogs overcame four first-half interceptions largely because of defense. Zephyrhills allowed only 122 yards and 14 points in a big win over Gulf.