The first week of the regular season for high school football kicked off on Aug. 26. Here’s a look at how teams in our coverage area fared under the lights on Friday night.
Pasco County results:
Wesley Chapel 13, Land O’ Lakes 3
The skinny: New Wildcats coach Anthony Egan notched his first career win in a close road game against Land O’ Lakes High School. Up-and-coming quarterback Jacob Thomas, threw a 75-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to swing the momentum in the Wildcats favor. Junior running back Ian Leverett added a game-high 145 rushing yards on 26 carries. Despite the game’s outcome, Land O’ Lakes sophomore quarterback Jude May had a solid showing, completing 65 percent of his pass attempts for 157 yards.
Next up: Wesley Chapel travels to Wiregrass Ranch on Sept. 2 for a 7:30 p.m., kickoff; Land O’ Lakes faces River Ridge in a nonconference matchup.
Wiregrass Ranch 43, Zephyrhills 8
The skinny: Nick Carroll’s first regular season game as Zephyrhills High School head coach didn’t go as planned with the Bulldogs’ defense surrendering 429 yards of total offense to Wiregrass Ranch High. Now fully healthy, expect Wiregrass Ranch to surprise opponents with a potent running attack and lockdown secondary. It will be interesting to see how the Bulldogs respond this week against Sunlake High, where Carroll was an assistant coach for the past nine seasons.
Next up: Wiregrass Ranch faces Wesley Chapel on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Zephyrhills has another home game against Sunlake.
Sunlake 62, Gulf, 0
The skinny: Sunlake High School once again has the makings of another dominant season after demoralizing Gulf High on the road. Sunlake tailback Justin Metzger scored three touchdowns, while two-way standout Cris Galdos racked up 162 all-purpose yards. Sunlake’s defense held Gulf to just 10 total yards. Junior middle linebacker Adam Jarvis led the Seahawks in tackles with five.
Next up: Sunlake has a road game against Zephyrhills on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Victory Christian 29, Pasco, 19
The skinny: The Pasco High School Pirates couldn’t avenge a second quarter where they allowed 21 points to a solid Victory Christian Academy squad. But, this week’s game against Gulf High provides them a chance to even up their record, and build some confidence in early September before the schedule becomes tougher.
Next up: Pasco has a home game against Gulf High on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Hillsborough County results:
Carrollwood Day 64, Avant Garde Academy, 0
The skinny: Carrollwood Day School interim head coach Mark Jones earned his first win as the Patriots demolished Avant Garde Academy in Kissimmee. Jones, a 36-year-old former NFL receiver/kick returner, took over as interim coach on Aug. 16, after former CDS coach Lane McLaughlin was let go by athletic director Baker Mabry.
Next up: CDS Prep faces Grapevine Christian Academy (Texas) in Orlando on Sept. 2 at 5 p.m.
East Bay, 34, Freedom 13
The skinny: Missed opportunities and a lifeless fourth quarter prevented the Freedom High School Patriots from getting a victory for new coach Floyd Graham. The score was 13-7 late in the third quarter, but a Freedom botched snap and ensuing East Bay touchdown put the game out of reach.
Next up: Freedom has a bye week before a road slate against Alonso High on Sept. 9.
Gaither 42, Steinbrenner 10
The skinny: Gaither High School forced six turnovers and held Steinbrenner High to just 113 yards of total offense in an eye-opening home victory. Gaither’s Trentyn Jackson was a force all night, scoring three touchdowns on an 80-yard interception return, a 31-yard reception and a 9-yard run. After a rough 2015 season, Gaither junior quarterback Gavin DenBoer shined, completing 9 of 15 passes for 220 yards and two touchdowns. Gaither senior linebacker DeCalon Brooks paced the Cowboys with 9 tackles.
Meanwhile, one of the few bright spots for Steinbrenner was the performance of senior outside linebacker Dane Coleman (12 tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack).
Next up: Gaither travels to Bloomingdale High on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Steinbrenner travels to Blake.
Wharton 39, King 0
The skinny: Wharton High School’s running duo Randy Haynes Jr. (93 yards on, two touchdowns) and Shannon King (76 yards, two touchdowns) proved too powerful for the King High Lions in this nonconference contest. On defense, Wharton forced a turnover or a three-and-out on nine of the Lions’ 12 drives.
Next up: Wharton has a home game against Robinson High on Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
–Stats and information compiled from Maxpreps.com.
Published August 31, 2016