Wednesday, December 13, 2017
Sports

North Suncoast: Sunday morning quarterback

North Suncoast Super 7

1. Pasco (5-0): The Pirates were without their best athlete and (mostly) without their starting quarterback. And they still won in the rain 26-0.

2. Springstead (6-0): The Eagles dominated Central but better not look past River Ridge this week.

3. Sunlake (4-1): QB Josh Zifer continues to improve, and few players are more valuable to their team than Eddie Burgos is to the Seahawks.

4. Mitchell (5-1): The Mustangs needed a confidence boost after a disappointing defeat to Sunlake. Beating Land O'Lakes by 10 on the road was a great way to bounce back.

5. Zephyrhills (3-2): Willie Williams had 117 rushing yards and three touchdowns on six carries against Gulf. Can he and the Bulldogs keep it up as the schedule gets tougher?

6. Fivay (4-1): Flip a coin between the Falcons and Zephyrhills. They'll decide it on the field at the end of the month.

7. Hernando (3-3): The Leopards have allowed only one touchdown in three district games and sacked River Ridge seven times (three by Darren Hambrick).

Three things we learned this week

1. Don't forget about Hernando ATH Tyrail Hawkins. After being held to fewer than 60 rushing yards in each of the last three games, the Division-I recruit rebounded with 123 rushing yards and a TD to go with two passing touchdowns against River Ridge.

2. Bishop McLaughlin's defense is clicking. Two weeks after recording their first shutout since October 2010, the Hurricanes had an even more impressive performance. They recorded two safeties, and Zack Lockhart and Zac Howley both returned fumbles for touchdowns.

3. Always bring a raincoat. Sunlake-Nature Coast and Pasco-Wesley Chapel were delayed because of lightning. Wiregrass Ranch will wait until Monday to finish its game against Tampa Bay Tech, and the weather postponed Anclote's shot at its first win until Monday night, too.

Breakout performance

Jonathan Thomas, Nature Coast: The 6-foot-3 sophomore receiver had five of the Sharks' six receptions for 84 yards. He caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from his knees in the first half and made a 25-yard third-down play to set up Nature Coast's final score.

Tweet of the night

@Wi77Allen (Springstead OT Will Allen): "AND WE'RE STILL UNDEFEATED."

Offensive MVP

Davion Sutton, Fivay: The junior running back had the best game of his career Friday. He rushed for a school-record 244 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries in the Falcons' win over Hudson.

Defensive MVP

Diego Heinzerling, Bishop McLaughlin: He recovered a fumble, picked off a pass and tallied a team-high nine tackles in the Hurricanes' 60-6 blowout win over Cornerstone Charter Academy.

Four thoughts on Week 7

1. Sunlake has another tough test. After a blowout win over Mitchell and a hard-fought win over Nature Coast, the games keep getting bigger for Sunlake, which faces defending district champion Hernando. The winner will be a postseason favorite again.

2. Zephyrhills will face its hardest foe in a while. Anclote is one of the few teams with the athleticism to hang with the Bulldogs. Zephyrhills and RB Willie Williams will be favored, but this one could get interesting.

3. Expect another Pasco shutout. The Pirates haven't allowed a point in their last four games and have given up one TD all season. Expect another dominant defensive performance against Hudson before a showdown with a high-powered Fivay offense.

4. Wesley Chapel's four-game losing streak should end. The Wildcats weren't overrun by a dominant Pasco team and have played their three toughest district games. Ty Tanner and his team should bounce back against Ridgewood and Hudson in back-to-back weeks.

Correction

Ricky Toth scored on a fumble return for Springstead in Friday's 42-7 win over Central. Another name was listed in Saturday's Tampa Bay Times.

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