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North Suncoast football tonight

South Sumter at PascoTime and site: 8 p.m., at W.F. Edwards Stadium on the campus of Pasco High, off State Road 52 west of Dade City.

Records: South Sumter 4-2, Pasco 6-1.

Last year: South Sumter 42, Pasco 26.

Key points: South Sumter was in the thick of the 3A-4 race last week until Lecanto pulled off the local upset of the year, winning 16-8 to end a 17-game losing streak. Now South Sumter is in a must-win situation against Pasco. South Sumter is led by running back Dexter Brooks. It's homecoming for Pasco, which is in the driver's seat in the district with a 6-1 mark. The Pirates have won six straight and have given up just 30 points in those victories (5.0 average per game).

Prediction: Pasco 24, South Sumter 14.

Hudson at Springstead

Time and site: 8 p.m., Booster Stadium, on the campus of Springstead High, Spring Hill.

Records: Springstead 4-3, Hudson 1-5.

Last year: Springstead 7, Hudson 0.

Key points: A Class 4A, District 8 game. Springstead is coming off a 37-18 district victory over Land O'Lakes. Hudson lost 46-24 to Tampa-Robinson last week. Hudson quarterback Bobby Fox is expected to miss tonight's game due to a back injury suffered late in the game against Robinson. He was replaced by David Billingsly, the team's leading rusher. Springstead's Dawayne Roberts leads Hernando County and the 13-school North Suncoast area in rushing with 799 yards on 126 carries, a 6.3 average. The senior running back also is the county's leading scorer with nine touchdowns for 54 points. Eagles quarterback A.J. Stone has completed 32 of 86 passes for a county-leading 501 yards. His favorite target is Willie Waddy, who has 12 catches for a county-best 207 yards.

Prediction: Springstead 40, Hudson 13.

Citrus at Hernando High

Time and site: 8 p.m., Tom Fisher Stadium, on the campus of Hernando High, Brooksville.

Radio: WWJB-1450 AM, Brooksville.

Records: Hernando High 2-4, Citrus 3-4.

Last year: Citrus 3, Hernando 0.

Key points: A Class 3A, District 4 game. Both teams have four district losses and are out of the league title chase. Citrus beat Dunnellon 19-6 last week; Hernando High lost 14-6 at Tampa Jesuit. Hurricanes sophomore Rob Malpica has rushed 132 times for a team-high 604 yards. Hernando High's Desmond Sanders caught four passes from Chad Moore for 65 yards and a touchdown against Jesuit. Sanders has a team-high 11 catches for 183 yards. Dwayne Mobley rushed for 223 yards against Zephyrhills on Sept. 28. The Leopards were off the next week and Mobley has been held to less than 100 yards in two games since. He still is Hernando High's leading rusher with 685 yards on 82 carries.

Prediction: Hernando High 8, Citrus 7.

Gulf at Ridgewood

Time and site: 8 p.m., at Rams Stadium, on the campus of Ridgewood High on Orchid Lake Road in New Port Richey.

Records: Gulf 2-4, Ridgewood 3-3.

Last year: Gulf 28, Ridgewood 6.

Key points: Neither team has a winning record, but the game is always intense. Gulf is coming off a 20-18 victory over Boca Ciega. The Buccaneers' biggest threat is Willy Rueck, who has accounted for 731 yards of offense. Ridgewood is coming off a 28-0 loss to Hardee County, which capitalized on three Rams fumbles. With a victory, the Rams could double their win output of last year. Rams receiver David Campogni is second in the North Suncoast with 18 catches for 141 yards (7.8 average).

Prediction: Gulf 16, Ridgewood 14.

Tampa Jesuit at Crystal River

Time and site: 8 p.m., Pirates Field, Crystal River. Traveling west on County Road 44, turn north onto NE Eighth Avenue; the campus is ahead two blocks on the right.

Records: Tampa Jesuit 6-1, Crystal River 3-4.

Last year: Crystal River 21, Tampa Jesuit 7.

Key points: Crystal River suffered its third district loss of the season last week, 17-14 to 3A-4 leader Pasco, but can play the role of the spoiler tonight. To win the title, Tampa Jesuit (5-1 in 3A-4) must win its last three games and hope Pasco loses one of its two remaining district contests. The two teams have opposing offensive strengths. Crystal River attacks primarily with the run; the Tigers mostly through the air. Crystal River tailback Bryant Brooks, with 789 yards, is second on the North Suncoast rushing list. Jesuit quarterback Troy Kent has completed 58 of 103 passes for 888 yards and eight touchdowns with only three interceptions.

Prediction: Crystal River 21, Tampa Jesuit 20.

Dunnellon at Zephyrhills

Time and site: 8 p.m., at Bulldog Field, on the campus of Zephyrhills High off County Road 54 East.

Records: Dunnellon 0-6, Zephyrhills 3-4.

Last year: Zephyrhills 23, Dunnellon 0.

Key points: Dunnellon finally broke into the scoring column last week with a Lane Hendry-to-Nick Booker touchdown pass in the team's 19-6 loss to Citrus. Those are its only points of the season. Zephyrhills, the defending district champion, is led by Booker Pickett, who is fifth in the North Suncoast in rushing with 107 carries for 675 yards and nine touchdowns. Quarterback Marcus McCants is fourth in the North Suncoast in passing with 436 yards on a 29-of-65 completion rate. He has five touchdowns to six interceptions.

Prediction: Zephyrhills 28, Dunnellon 0.

Tampa Catholic at Lecanto

Time and site: 8 p.m., Panther Stadium, Lecanto. Traveling on County Road 491, turn west onto Educational Path and follow to the campus.

Radio: WINV-1560 AM, Inverness, 7:40 p.m.

Records: Tampa Catholic 6-1, Lecanto 1-5.

Key points: The Panthers won last week for the first time since the 1988 season, stunning Class 3A, District 4 contender South Sumter 16-8 in the Raiders' homecoming game to snap a 17-game losing streak. Lecanto would love to play the role of the spoiler again this week. The visiting Crusaders, at 5-1, are in the thick of the district race, and will be far bigger across the front than the Panthers. Lecanto will be without sophomore starting quarterback Willis O'Steen, who chipped a bone in his left ankle in the fourth quarter last week. Junior J.J. Reynolds replaces him, making his first varsity start. Tampa Catholic is led by senior running back Willie Queen, who has 799 yards and seven touchdowns on 131 carries, good for a 6.1 average. A Class 3A, District 4 game.

Prediction: Tampa Catholic 21, Lecanto 10.

Land O'Lakes at East Lake

Time and site: 7:30 p.m., at East Lake Field, 1300 Silver Eagle Drive, off County Road 77 in Tarpon Springs.

Records: Land O'Lakes 1-5, East Lake 2-4.

Last year: East Lake 15, Land O'Lakes 12.

Key points: The Gators have scored 98 points this season, but the defense has given up 166 to leave them at the bottom of 4A-8. Gators sophomore Mike Viccione leads the North Suncoast in receiving with 24 catches for 451 yards, an impressive 18.8 average, and six touchdowns. Most of those scoring strikes have been thrown by sophomore quarterback Grant Plamondon (second in the North Suncoast at 31-of-65 passing for 535 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions). East Lake is coming off a 62-yard offensive output in a 15-7 loss to Countryside. Of East Lake's four losses, two were to 5A teams and one was to Tarpon Springs.

Prediction: Land O'Lakes 10, East Lake 7.

_ Compiled by staff writers Cammy Clark, Tim Buckley and Joanne Korth.

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