Two middle school football teams snapped ties in the waning moments of last Tuesday's games to win by identical margins.
Seven Springs and Gulf rallied for 22-14 victories. The Jaguars beat Hudson with 35 seconds to play and the Buccaneers defeated Bayonet Point with less than two minutes left.
"It seems like the kids are calm, cool, collected _ and confident _ when it comes down to the end," Seven Springs coach Tim Boggess said.
Seven Springs has ample depth; only two players play both ways. "We're pretty fresh when everyone else is worn out," Boggess said.
John Murdoch capped Seven Springs' final drive with a 7-yard run up the middle. After that go-ahead touchdown, Murdoch ran in a two-point conversion.
Colton Cross had scoring runs of 3 and 39 yards, adding a two-point conversion run for the Jaguars.
Hudson's Jake Qualtiere and Joe Cimino ran 53 and 59 yards, respectively, for touchdowns. Hudson quarterback chipped in with a conversion pass to Dylan Luke.
Cimino leads the county in two categories: 509 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
After an 0-2 start _ coming off a 6-0 season for its first county championship _ Bayonet Point hungered for a win. And the prospects looked better when the Patriots tied it at 14 on David Roteveel's quarterback sneak with 1:30 left.
But Payton Ray returned the ensuing kickoff for a touchdown and the Bucs improved to 3-0.
"My kids just don't give up," Gulf coach Jeff Koos said. "They were stopping (Ray, Gulf's primary ballcarrier) outside and he got the opportunity to run one back."
Stopping Ray was little solace for Bayonet Point coach Kent Reed, who bemoaned his team's record.
"We're not getting the breaks we did last year," Reed said, "but you go 6-0 and you've got to take your lumps the next year."
NO GAMES: Middle school games scheduled tonight were canceled because there are no classes today.
Those matchups would have been: Hudson at Gulf, River Ridge at Bayonet Point, Seven Springs at Chasco, Pine View at Pasco and Centennial at Weightman.
School officials scrambled Monday to reschedule games. Joe Wajerski, secretary of the Pasco County Middle School Athletic Conference, hoped to reschedule games for Wednesday and finalize plans by today.
It is the second week of games affected by storms. Thanks to Hurricane Frances, the Sept. 7 contests were postponed and the season was extended by a week.
Wajerski estimated that, combining gates and concessions, about $1,800 per game is at stake.
"Hopefully, they'll just all play on Wednesday," Wajerski said. "We've got to get these games in. We count on them."