NEW PORT RICHEY — The preseason opener between Pasco and Ridgewood ended in a 35-0 victory for the Pirates.
In recent years, the Pasco brand has become synonymous with speed.
And the new faces on the Pirates showed that they are certainly capable of carrying on that tradition.
With key losses of big-time play-makers Janarion Grant, David Emmanuel and Joey Ivie, the reloaded Pirates will face another challenge with a tougher district than they competed in last year.
Senior Malik Jones affirmed that he is qualified to lead Pasco to another successful season with his performance against the Rams. He caught three passes for 114 yards and scored a touchdown on a 99-yard reception.
"All the hard work that we did before the season pays off," Jones said.
A standout performance by blue-chip prospect Nate Craig foreshadowed an upcoming season with a lot of big plays. The sophomore already has offers from Florida, Florida State, Tennessee, and Ohio State. He caught one pass for a 62-yard touchdown and got into the end zone a second time by returning an 85-yard kick for a touchdown.
"We just got to keep working and take one game at a time. I liked the way we played tonight and we got to get ready for Game 2," Craig said.
The Pirates will begin the regular season by travelling to Sunlake next week. Ridgewood hosts Fivay.