Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Sports

North Suncoast: Sunday morning quarterback

Offensive MVPs

Trent Crawford, Anclote: The junior running back scored the winning touchdown on an 18-yard run in the fourth quarter that helped the Sharks stay in the playoff race with a 21-14 victory over Wesley Chapel.

Tyler Mahla, Springstead: The junior quarterback rushed for a career-high 151 yards on 15 carries. He ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in a 35-0 win over Mitchell.

Defensive MVPs

Jeremiah Jackson, Hernando: The junior linebacker had two sacks and a game-changing fumble recovery in a 14-7 win over Nature Coast. Jackson also rushed for a 1-yard touchdown.

C.C. Schroder, Hudson: The senior safety intercepted two passes in a 30-0 win over Gulf. Schroder has five interceptions this season.

Playoff picture

Class 5A, District 6: Pasco (8-0, 6-0) already has clinched its sixth consecutive trip to the playoffs, and the winner of the Pirates-Zephyrhills matchup wins the district championship. If Pasco wins, the runnerup spot is trickier. A Zephyrhills loss sends the Bulldogs into a three-way tie for second with Anclote and Fivay. That's assuming the Sharks and Falcons beat Hudson and Ridgewood, respectively. Got it?

Class 6A, District 6: This one is simple. Springstead clinched the district title with a 35-0 win over Mitchell. Hernando locked up the No. 2 seed and a third consecutive playoff appearance by beating Nature Coast.

New Seahawks record

Sunlake QB Josh Zifer broke his team's single-game rushing record set by teammate Eddie Burgos earlier this year. Zifer ran for 210 yards in a 35-9 win over River Ridge. That's 3 yards more than Burgos' 207 against Hudson. Coach Bill Browning said it's the first time in his 35 years of coaching that he can remember one of his players breaking a teammate's record set earlier in the year.

Weeki's district win

Weeki Wachee rallied from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Interlachen 29-22 in overtime in one of Friday's most entertaining games. Marcus Allen threw three touchdown passes to Jon King, and Jacob Cimino rushed for the winning score. The Class 4A, District 4 victory was the first district win in Hornets history.

In case you missed it

Land O'Lakes snapped a six-game losing streak, its worst since 1995, with a 31-14 win over Central. The Gators have struggled this fall but showed a promising future. Sophomore Larenz Scroggins rushed for a score and caught two touchdown passes from another sophomore, QB James Pensyl. Scroggins also had an interception late in the first half playing defense.

Unsung heroes

• Springstead RB Latavious Hannah rushed for 101 yards and a score in place of starter Daniel Wright (illness).

• Zephyrhills WR Jaylen Pickett racked up 100 yards from scrimmage and scored three touchdowns in a must-win game.

• Fivay lost despite 100-yard nights from RB Davion Sutton (29 carries, 149 yards, one TD) and WR Andrew Meyer (10 catches, 157 yards, two TDs).

• Pasco's Janarion Grant (two TDs) and David Emmanuel (151 yards on seven carries) continue to shine, and so does the defense. Phillip Wilson and Jajuan Henry both returned interceptions for touchdowns in a 45-0 win over Ridgewood.

Injury update

Nature Coast senior RB Matt Breida said in a text message that doctors told him he should be able to play in the season finale against Springstead. Breida, Tampa Bay's No. 2 rusher, strained his back in the second half of a 14-7 loss to Hernando and did not return for precautionary reasons. The back-to-back 1,000-yard rusher has college offers from Toledo, Akron, UMass, Georgia Southern and others.

Three thoughts looking ahead

1. The 9-Mile War will be big. As always. The Pasco-Zephyrhills winner gets the Class 5A, District 6 championship, in addition to bragging rights in east Pasco County. The Pirates have looked unstoppable but haven't faced a team with Zephyrhills' athleticism. The Bulldogs have scored at least 34 points in five of their last six games but will have a hard time getting into the end zone against Tampa Bay's stingiest defense.

2. Class 6A, District 6 calms down. The playoff positions are set, but there are still interesting stories. Can Matt Breida and Nature Coast end Springstead's perfect season? Can River Ridge beat Land O'Lakes for the first time since coach Ryan Benjamin was a player? Will Hernando's defense crack down on Mitchell's run game?

3. Don't assume a three-way tie in Class 5A, District 6. Zephyrhills will be a big underdog against Pasco, but Fivay and Anclote aren't guaranteed victories. The Sharks face a much-improved Hudson team led by RB Noah Siegrist (154 yards, three TDs against Gulf) that has found confidence under coach Mark Kantor. Fivay faces Ridgewood, which nearly upset Zephyrhills this month and would love to spoil the Falcons' playoff hopes.

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