Advertisement
  1. Sports
  2. /
  3. HomeTeam

West with the slight edge in Pasco all-star game

River Ridge’s Anthony Roussos accounts for the final scores in a tight matchup.
Pasco County's seniors took to the field one last time on Friday night. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
Pasco County's seniors took to the field one last time on Friday night. [DIRK SHADD | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Dec. 14, 2019
Updated Dec. 14, 2019

LAND O’LAKES — Befitting of an all-star game, Friday night’s high school football thriller for Pasco seniors at Sunlake High featured six lead changes, three pivotal turnovers, a pair of touchdowns on special teams and three scoring passes.

In the end, the West had two interceptions to the East’s one and hung on for a 23-21 win in the closest result of the five-game series organized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The East, which had won two straight games, still leads the all-time series 3-2. That includes a 17-14 win in 2017, which had been the tightest game before Friday.

“The defense was outstanding,” said Fivay’s Matt Durchik, who coached the West. “The best thing was the consistency at our practices and the buy-in from the squad.”

Related: North’s dominance continues in Pinellas County All-Star Game

With the West leading 9-7 at halftime, the teams traded a pair of touchdowns each in an explosive third quarter. Trailing by just two points, the East went ahead 14-9 on an 82-yard punt return by Wiregrass Ranch’s Keith Walker and an extra-point from Wesley Chapel kicker Fletcher Martin.

Not to be outdone on special teams, Mitchell’s Rob Graham ran back the ensuing kickoff 91 yards and Fivay’s Nicholas Iovino followed up with a PAT kick to give the lead back to the West at 16-14. Graham also had the West’s lone touchdown in the first half, a 53-yard pass from Fivay quarterback Bryan Hair.

Later in the third, the East took a lead for the third time in the game. Land O’Lakes quarterback Ethan Forrester connected with Wiregrass Ranch’s Jonavon Tillis on a 35-yard touchdown pass and Martin made the kick for a 21-16 lead.

The West countered one last time with River Ridge’s Anthony Roussos bursting through the middle for a 37-yard scoring run and Iovino made his kick to account for the final margin as neither team scored in the final quarter.

Iovino kicked a 31-yard field goal on the West’s opening possession before the East got a touchdown on the final play of the first quarter. Forrester hit Wesley Chapel’s Jelani Vassell on a slant-in for a 32-yard touchdown.

The West got the lead back on Graham’s touchdown catch before halftime.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Karim Nohra pulls no punches in getting his Carrollwood Day team ready for another playoff push. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Patriot girls notch another lopsided basketball victory with a senior-dominated team.
  2. Kobe Knox, center, and Tampa Catholic regain the top spot in the rankings thanks to recent wins over Leesburg, Naples and Seffner Christian. [LUIS SANTANA  |  Times]
    Tampa Catholic takes over the top spot again after an impressive showing last week.
  3. Tampa Prep's Arianna Mosley (10), center, challenges the Wesley Chapel defense during a December game. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD  |  TImes]
    Little change at the top as the regular season winds down.
  4. Flag football players from left to right: Steinbrenner's Jacqueline Figueredo, Robinson's Emily Kemp, Leto's Anaily Mendoza, along with Martha Minahan at Monday night's (Jan. 20, 2020) sixth annual Bill Minahan scholarship awards dinner. [ERNEST HOOPER  |  Special to the Times]
    Chamberlain’s James Ash, Wharton’s Edwouens Marcelin, Steinbrenner’s Jacqueline Figueredo and Robinson’s Emily Kemp are also honored at the sixth annual awards banquet.
  5. Chamberlain offensive tackle Cesar Reyes said via Twitter on Sunday he plans to sign with USF. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The Bulls fortify depth at quarterback and on the offensive line.
  6. Jesuit's Brett Gerena (7) celebrates recovering a fumble in the third quarter of this past season's Class 5A region semifinals. [JOHN PENDYGRAFT  |  Times]
    The Black Knights have commitments for 2020 from five locals, the most of any Division I-A program in the country. And they may gain more.
  7. Saturday's Seminole Shootout was full of closely contested basketball action. [DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times]
    Berkeley Prep and Clearwater also pull out tight thrillers Saturday.
  8. You'll find Chimera Iloanya and Seffner Christian at the Lakewood MLK Holiday Classic this weekend. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    Looking for some stellar hoops matchups this holiday weekend? Hosts Lakewood and Chamberlain have you covered.
  9. Hillsborough senior forward Cantia Rahming, right, is among the nation's leaders in rebounds per game. [SCOTT PURKS  |  Special to the Times]
    The senior has been a menace on the boards after missing out on significant playing time in last year’s run to the state final four.
  10. In his one season at Middleton, Mike Williams led the grieving Tigers to a 5-5 record. [OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times]
    The former Plant High player takes over for David Mitchell, who steps down to deal with health issues in his family.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement