Another week of high school football is in the books, as teams approach the midway point of the season. Here’s a look at how the teams in our coverage area fared in Week 4:
Sunlake 21, Land O’ Lakes 3
Recap: The “Butter Bowl” was once again a one-sided affair as the Sunlake Seahawks defeated the Land O’ Lakes Gators 21-3, marking the Seahawks fifth straight regular season win over the Gators. Equipped with a 7-3 halftime lead, Sunlake (3-1) pulled away from the Gators (0-3) with touchdowns in the third and fourth quarters.
Key Stats: The Seahawks racked up 539 all-purpose yards compared to the Gators’ 187 yards. Additionally, Seahawks had two 100-yard rushers in seniors Justin Metzger (124 yards) and Kevis Warren (111 yards, 1 TD), and a 100-yard receiver in senior Tyler Peretti (7 receptions, 142 yards).
Next up: Sunlake has a home game against Lakewood Ranch (0-3) on Sept. 23; Land O’ Lakes has a bye before facing Lakeland Christian (4-0) on Sept. 30.
Zephyrhills 62, Gulf 0
Recap: The first year of the Nick Carroll Era is going swimmingly for the Zephyrhills Bulldogs, as the first-year head coach guided his team to a 62-0 pounding over Gulf High. The Bulldogs (2-1) led 47-0 at the half, before a running clock was put into effect for the entirety of the second half. The win follows the Bulldogs’ surprising win over Sunlake (27-15) on Sept. 3.
Key Stats: Bulldogs junior quarterback Charles Harrison III completed 10 of 14 passes for 117 yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, Bulldogs freshman linebacker Ja’varrius Wilson tallied up three sacks.
Next up: Zephyrhills travels to Fivay (0-3) on Sept. 23.
Wesley Chapel 42, Ridgewood 22
Recap: Under first-year coach Anthony Egan, the Wesley Chapel Wildcats (3-0) already has more wins than it did in each of the last two seasons. Despite looking sloppy with penalties early on, the Wildcats shored up their miscues to build a 29-8 lead at halftime. In the second half, the game was put out of reach underneath the speedy legs of junior tailbacks Dexter Leverett (224 yards, 2 TDs) and Malik Melvin (119 yards, 2 TDs).
Key Stats: The Wildcats compiled 394 rushing yards as a team, averaging a whopping 10.1 yards per carry.
Next up: Wesley Chapel heads to Gulf (0-2) on Sept. 23.
Sickles 30, Wiregrass Ranch, 29 (Overtime)
Recap: A two-point conversion call in overtime by Wiregrass Ranch head coach Mark Kantor ended up backfiring, as the Bulls (1-2) fell to Sickles High in front of its home crowd. Cantor called an inside run to junior tailback Chase Oliver, a bruising 220-pounder, who was stuffed at the goal line, sealing the win for Sickles.
Wiregrass led 23-20 halfway through the fourth quarter, before Sickles kicked a field goal to force the extra period, then lead for good on a 16-yard touchdown pass in overtime.
Key Stats: The loss notwithstanding, Wiregrass senior quarterback Chris Faddoul made an impact with his arm and legs. Faddoul threw for 113 yards and a TD, rushed for 91 yards, and kicked a 30-yard field goal.
Next up: Wiregrass Ranch has a road contest against Leto (0-3) on Sept. 23.
Gaither 19, Wharton 7
Recap: Buoyed by the punishing running style of senior tailback T.J. Williams, the Gaither Cowboys (2-2) notched a home win against the Wharton Wildcats (1-2), snapping a two-game losing streak. The Cowboys never trailed, getting on the scoreboard first thanks to a 15-yard TD run by Williams in the second quarter.
Key Stats: Williams scored three times—including a highlight-reel 89-yard reception—en route to 124 total yards on 10 touches.
Next up: Gaither travels to Sickles on Sept. 23; Wharton has a home matchup against Freedom on Sept. 23.
Freedom 3, Spoto 0
Recap: A 39-yard boot in the second quarter by Freedom’s Noah Tenney was the lone score in this defensive tug-of-war. Freedom’s defense stymied Spoto, holding them to 178 total yards, including just a single passing yard. Freedom (2-1) has looked solid defensively for two consecutive weeks after limiting Alonso High to just eight points on Sept. 9
Key Stats: The Patriots forced four turnovers, including two fumble recoveries by senior Carlos Rodicio.
Next up: Freedom has a road conference game against Wharton on Sept. 23.
Sarasota Riverview 20, Steinbrenner 19
Recap: Key mistakes and missed opportunities, in part, caused the Warriors to fall short in this non-conference road game. The Warriors (1-2) led Sarasota Riverview 19-6 at the half, but a bevy of turnovers and three-and-outs gave Riverview ample field position to orchestrate two impressive scoring drives in the second half.
Key Stats: Steinbrenner’s Josh Harris rushed for 102 yards on 24 carries, but also fumbled three times. Senior wideout Brett Bitter hauled in two TD catches.
Next up: Steinbrenner faces Tampa Riverview (2-1) at home on Sept. 23.
Seffner Christian 27, Carrollwood Day 6
Recap: With the score 7-6 after the first quarter, the game was in reach for Carrollwood Day. But, the Patriots (1-3) were unable to answer as Seffner Christian scored touchdowns in each of the following three quarters. The Patriots (1-3) have now lost three straight games, scoring just 13 combined points in the process.
Key Stats: The Patriots struggled defensively, allowing over 423 total yards of offense (217 passing, 206 yards rushing). In their last three games, the Patriots have been outscored by a 118-to-13 margin.
Next up: The Patriots have a bye before facing Northside Christian (3-1) on the road on Sept. 30.
–Stats and information compiled via MaxPreps.com.
Published September 21, 2016