Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

North Suncoast: Sunday morning quarterback

North Suncoast Super 7

1. Pasco (6-0): Another blowout win and a fifth consecutive shutout, 63-0 over Hudson, for the state's top-ranked defense. This week brings the toughest test yet: Fivay.

2. Springstead (7-0): Even on rough offensive night like Friday, the Eagles find a way to win. Can they do it against Hernando?

3. Hernando (4-3): The Leopards have allowed only 23 total points in four district games, and the offense could be starting to click.

4. Sunlake (4-2): The Seahawks aren't out of the playoff race yet, but they need help after two district losses by a combined 10 points.

5. Mitchell (6-1): If the Mustangs can survive a brutal close to the season with games against Nature Coast, Springstead and Hernando, they will be playoff-bound.

6. Fivay (5-1): With the success of Davion Sutton, it's easy to overlook Bryan Poinsette, who had a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against Gulf.

7. Nature Coast (4-3): Another game, another big night from RB Matt Breida and a strong defense. Nature Coast will battle Mitchell tough this week.

Dual-threat performances

Hernando ATH Tyrail Hawkins scored both of his team's touchdowns and had two late pass breakups in a 14-10 victory over Sunlake. Teammate Ra'shaad Hart had his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game and sealed the win with an interception in the end zone.

1,000-yard club

Nature Coast RB Matt Breida became the North Suncoast's first 1,000-yard rusher this season after gaining 158 yards with two touchdowns against Land O'Lakes. He has 1,044 for the season.

Offensive MVPs

Anclote QB John Forgione: He had three touchdown passes in a 21-7 win over Zephyrhills.

Springstead QB Tyler Mahla: He rushed for a key first down after scooping up a blocked field goal. He added a TD pass and a TD run in a 21-7 win over River Ridge.

Defensive MVP

Nature Coast DE Rohan Blackwood: He had four sacks in a 28-17 win over Land O'Lakes.

Five thoughts looking ahead

1. Pasco gets a test. Joey Ivie and the Pirates haven't had one this season. Pasco dominated Fivay last year in a matchup that decided the district championship. Expect similar results with similar stakes this time.

2. Can Anclote keep it up? The Sharks shocked Zephyrhills 21-7 and put themselves in the playoff picture. Now they need to avoid letdowns the rest of the way and get help to battle for the postseason.

3. Defense rules in Hernando County. Hernando and Sunlake both have strong, disciplined defenses. Expect the battle for the county and the top spot in Class 6A, District 6 to be low scoring.

4. Who takes the battle for Land O'Lakes? Suburban supremacy is on the line when the Gators host Sunlake. Expect Josh Zifer and the Seahawks to rebound with a second consecutive win over their rival.

5. Run, run, run. That's the story for the Mitchell-Nature Coast battle that has big playoff implications. Can Matt Breida break the Mustangs defense, or will Mitchell's deep backfield run away with a win.

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