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Pirates strike early and often vs. Bucs

From the opening play, Gulf was in for a long night.

Pasco scored on an 80-yard touchdown from Cory Filley to tight end Tim Jackson, and five minutes later, the Pirates had piled up 214 yards and a 21-0 lead.

Little after that mattered as Pasco (7-2) cruised to a 41-9 victory against Gulf (4-5) on Friday night.

"This was a good opportunity for our younger kids to play," said Pasco coach Dale Caparaso, whose team clinched a playoff berth last week. "It was a great opportunity to get our starters off the field for injuries and rest them up. This time of year, that's important heading into the playoffs."

Filley connected with receiver Johnny Peyton for a 39-yard gain on Pasco's next play, and the two capped that drive with a 6-yard touchdown. Add in a 65-yard run for Donte O'Neal, who had three touchdowns and more than 200 rushing yards, and the game was over halfway through the first quarter.

"I think it was deflating for them to choose to kick off to us, then have us score on the first play," Caparaso said. "And we didn't get them with our star guy, or our second guy, but a guy's who's really our third option."

Gulf foiled the shutout with a 29-yard field goal by Steve Purviance with 18 seconds left in the first half. Purviance would add two field goals for the Bucs' only points.