Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

'Teaching moment' for Bulldogs, Gators

ZEPHYRHILLS — Reggie Roberts' frustration after Zephyrhills' 34-13 preseason victory over Land O'Lakes shows just how far his program has come.

Instead of focusing on his first victory over one of Pasco County's most storied programs, Roberts dwelled on Friday night's fumbles, penalties and errors.

"If we want to have the kind of season we know we can have, we've got to eliminate those mistakes — period," Roberts said.

Zephyrhills showed flashes of playoff potential.

Division I prospect Jordan Roberts — a track and basketball standout — started his senior season with a breakout performance.

He scored three touchdowns three different ways — on a 67-yard pass from Ty Tanner, a 92-yard kickoff return and a 70-yard interception return.

He added a one-handed two-point conversion catch during a flurry in which the teams combined for 27 points in 2:02.

"Jordan has made that transition to a football player now," his coach said.

Zephyrhills had plenty of other highlights, too.

Devin Brockington snared two interceptions, Malik Mutcherson broke for a 46-yard touchdown rush, and Lorine Parker rumbled for a 23-yard touchdown early in the second half. The Bulldogs' defense held Land O'Lakes to only 17 completions on 49 attempts.

But, for Roberts, the errors overshadowed the progress. His team fumbled six snaps and lost three other fumbles — signs of concern for a team that narrowly missed the playoffs each of the last two seasons.

"We've got to make a playoff run," Roberts said. "We can't do it with this kind of stuff we did tonight. We're a better team than we were tonight."

Land O'Lakes took advantage of some of the Bulldogs' mistakes. The Gators converted on third down early on James Pensyl's 8-yard touchdown pass to Javin Tandy.

Stefan Zapata added a highlight-reel 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and Deionte Strozier blocked a punt in the second half but couldn't capitalize with a score.

"They call it a kickoff classic for a reason," Gators coach Brian Wachtel said. "Tonight was a teaching moment."

Times staff writer Matt Baker can be reached at mbaker@tampabay.com or on Twitter @MattHomeTeam.

Today's game

Wiregrass Ranch at Mitchell, 10 a.m.

Zephyrhills 34
Land O'Lakes13

'Teaching moment' for Bulldogs, Gators 08/23/13 [Last modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 11:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs get first new video director in 29 years

    Blogs

    When the Bucs took to the practice field this week to start OTA practices, they did so with a new video director for the first time in 29 years.

    Bucs video director Dave Levy, shown during the 2003 season, worked under nine different head coaches in 29 seasons working for Tampa Bay.
  2. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL

    Blogs

    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  3. Steven Souza Jr. snaps out of slump as Rays defeat Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After Tuesday's shutout loss to the Angels, Steven Souza Jr. stood in front of his locker and talked about his need to contribute to the offense.

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre (45) hugs right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) in the dugout after his two run home run in the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.
  4. Tom Jones: Rays made right move sending Blake Snell to minors

    The Heater

    tom jones' two cents

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Blake Snell’s struggles on the mound were only one of the reasons the Rays sent him to the minors; some other red flags existed. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Angels game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Ryne Stanek has had his early struggles, but Wednesday he showed his high-octane potential, working around a one-out walk to strike out the mighty Mike Trout (on a 98.4 mph fastball) and legendary Albert Pujols (98.7), both swinging.