The Pasco County prep football Top 5 is voted on by correspondents Steve Campbell, Mike Camunas, Chris Errington, Kyle LoJocano, Bart O’Connell, Kenny Sanders and Andy Villamarzo.
1. Sunlake, 68 points (6 first-place votes)
Last week: 15-0 win vs. Anclote: The Seahawks stay atop the poll because they’ve won convincingly the past two weeks, doing so by not allowing a point to River Ridge and Anclote. In addition to a swarming defense, Sunlake also has a high-powered offense, especially its running game led by junior RB Nathan Johnson, who rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns last week.
2. Pasco, 50 points
Last week: 35-0 win vs. Wesley Chapel: One minute the Pirates’ high-speed offense looks unstoppable, the next its seem they need GPS to find the end zone. Coach Tom McHugh and company are seemingly still trying to find the right balance on a team that’s deep and still a favorite to win their district, especially when players such as Malik Johns have a four-touchdown performance.
3. Zephyrhills, 40 points (1 first vote)
Last week: 17-9 vs. Mitchell: The Bulldogs were escape artists in beating Mitchell last week, especially after turning over the ball four times and giving up a safety. Yet, coach Reggie Roberts showed his best team to date is resilient. Zephyrhills will need a mistake-free week against South Sumter.
4. Land O’ Lakes, 38 points
Last week: 33-6 win vs. Ridgewood: In the blink of an eye, one might miss the Gators’ high-speed, up-tempo offense. But it’s paying off, especially after QB James Pensyl’s four-touchdown performance last week, putting the junior southpaw at 56-for-92 for 834 yards and 8 TDs, and his play will determine the Gators chances for a 6A-6 district title.
5. Mitchell, 10 points
Last week: 17-9 loss at Zephyrhills: The Mustangs were hampered by injuries (QB Alec Lambert) and a swarming defense by Zephyrhills, all of which kept Mitchell and leading rusher, Christian Trinidad, out of the end zone. Yet, it was Mitchell’s defense that kept it in the game Friday, especially after forcing four turnovers, including a 49-yard return by Dan Mason.
Also receiving votes: Hudson