DADE CITY — Jamall Haynes huffed and puffed and after he broke a few more tackles, yelled in a mighty voice, "I'm the MAN!"
Who could argue after the senior running back led Pasco to a 24-0 victory Friday over Zephyrhills in the 51st meeting of the 9-mile war.
Haynes unleashed all the frustration of last week's one-point loss to Nature Coast with a 205-yard two-touchdown effort, the first 200-yard game of his career.
"They couldn't tackle me," Haynes said. "They were hitting me in my legs and I was just breaking through it. That's why I squat almost 500 pounds."
Haynes broke through for Pasco (5-1, 2-0 in 3A-8) in the first quarter with a powerful 40-yard run for a 7-0 lead. In the second quarter, he shed tackles with powerful strides, going 25 yards for his second touchdown.
With Pasco's passing game largely ineffective, Haynes got 21 carries in all. Pirates coach Tom McHugh even gave receiver Hakeem Ishmar some shots at tailback, including his first sprint which made tacklers miss for 35 yards.
The loss was a big setback for Zephyrhills (3-3, 1-1), which came in with the momentum of a 28-0 win over Wesley Chapel.
"That motivated us because we thought they were going to play us harder like they played Wesley Chapel," Haynes said. "That didn't happen. We ran the ball hard, they started giving up …so we just kept pounding and pounding."
Bulldogs quarterback Tyler Guy was under relentless pressure, sacked eight times and forced into a lot of bad passing situations. He finished 9-of-16 for 98 yards and four interceptions.
"He runs and he passes," McHugh said. "We wanted to stop him from running and make him pass. When he was in the position where he had to pass, we had to go get him."
The Pirates added more scoring in the third quarter, first with a Brennan Allen 36-yard field goal, then with a 10-yard touchdown pass from D.J. Clower to Josh Johnson. Johnson was questionable this week after injuring a shoulder against the Sharks. But once McHugh saw him bench press 250 pounds one afternoon, he knew his star Purdue commitment was ready to go.
The win puts Pasco in a first-place tie with Gulf in 3A-8 with games against Sunlake and Wiregrass before a possible head-to-head meeting between the first-place teams for the district title.
Haynes said the Pirates had a little more inspiration this week beyond district implications and making amends for their first loss.
"They've been calling us all week talking trash," Haynes said of the Bulldogs. "I just wanted to show them what time it was from the Pasco Pirates."