ZEPHYRHILLS — Bulldogs coach Tom Fisher wouldn't call it pretty, but he'll take it.
Zephyrhills defeated Sunlake 21-9 on Friday night for its first win of the season and a Class 3A, District 8 win as well. The game, however, featured some poorly executed plays on offense.
"It was ugly," Fisher said. "Offensively (ugly), it was at least. We'll keep plugging offensively until something clicks. We'll have to keep working on it."
The Bulldogs (1-3, 1-0) might need work at quarterback, where junior Tyler Guy went 4-of-13 for 39 yards and an interception. Zephyrhills took a 14-3 lead into half time thanks to a batted pass by Donterrell Parker, who caught the ball and returned it 80 yards for the first score. Sunlake (1-2, 0-1) then tacked on a 25-yard field goal by Corey Wegener. The Bulldogs came back on the next drive, going 83 yards and ending in a 1-yard quarterback keeper. They also relied on junior running back Alex Paniagha, who had a game-high 115 yards on 14 carries.
"We did some things good that we had been doing bad, then we turn right around and start doing the good things bad," Fisher said. "It was like a roller coaster for us, but our defense has been playing well for the past three weeks."
The Zephyrhills defense knocked out Seahawks starting quarterback, Ryan Horan, who was 3-of-9 for 37 yards with an interception. He was sacked twice. Sunlake had a 59-yard interception return by junior Josh Quandt negated by a holding penalty.
"We never got in synch offensively all night," Sunlake coach Bill Browning said. "Their defense is quite fast and they were giving us troubles all night. It was really a comedy of the errors between the two offenses."