Friday Night Previews: West Pasco

Wesley Chapel quarterback Tyler Wittish and the Wildcats travel to Fivay High as both teams open their Class 5A District 8 schedules.

Mitchell High (0-1) at Springstead High (2-1)

LAST MEETING: Sept. 15, 2017 at Mitchell – Mustangs 28, Eagles 7

Class 6A District 6’s two top teams from last year get after it again Friday night at Springstead.

The winner will earn a big boost toward a district championship and Mitchell enters riding a 15-game regular-season winning streak.

The Mustangs defense hasn’t surrendered a point through two games, shutting out Anclote 35-0 and rival River Ridge 14-0. Springstead began its season with a pair of shutout victories, as well, before falling 32-7 against fellow Hernando County foe Nature Coast Tech 32-7 last week.

NCT and star tailback Mike Weston rumbled for 378 rushing yards against the Eagles and there’s a good chance Mitchell will look to get junior Tyler Williams going early Friday.

Springstead senior running back Nathan Sims has 408 yards and five touchdowns on 58 carries through three games.

Gulf High (1-1) at Hudson High (0-3)

LAST MEETING: Sept. 15, 2017 at Gulf – Cobras 42, Buccaneers 0

Victories remain hard to come by for both programs this year, but someone’s going to come out on top Friday night at Hudson.

The Cobras scheduled a high-profile road game last week at Tallahassee Lincoln and fell 75-0. The loss dropped them to 0-3 but they begin a stretch of three straight winnable matchups against Gulf, Anclote and Fivay.

Hudson can move the football on the ground and through the air and that combo may be enough to deny Gulf its second victory. If the Buccaneers defense steps up they’ll give themselves a chance to win a lower-scoring affair.

River Ridge High (1-2) at Anclote High (0-2)

LAST MEETING: Sept. 15, 2017 at River Ridge – Royal Knights 45, Sharks 7

River Ridge got into the win column last week by trouncing out-of-towners West Park Prep, 45-0.

Back-to-back defeats against Pinellas Park and Mitchell had to be tough to handle for Ryan Benjamin’s squad, but River Ridge should be back to .500 after Friday night.

Game-planning for the Royal Knights requires keeping tabs on multiple potential ball carriers and split-time quarterbacks Kyle St. John and D.J. Mann aren’t afraid to air it out either.

Anclote lost a lot from last year’s historic 7-3 team and a rough schedule to open the season is making it difficult to compete. The Sharks fell 35-0 to Mitchell and 61-13 to Calvary Christian. Next week’s home date against Hudson should be more manageable.

Wesley Chapel High (1-2) at Fivay High (1-2)

LAST MEETING: Sept. 15, 2017 at Wesley Chapel – Wildcats 49, Falcons 0

Fivay matched last season’s win total when it scored a 29-13 victory over second-year Cypress Creek.

The combo of running backs Jayvon Wilson and Deviante Armstead give the Falcons a solid offensive foundation, but they’ll need help up front to create space to operate.

Wesley Chapel picked up a nice 39-33 win over Pasco last week and will be looking to open its District 5A-8 schedule with a convincing victory. The Wildcats utilize Tyler Wittish and Jelani Vassell under center. Wittish is the main passing threat while Vassell leads the team in rushing.

Fivay shouldn’t suffer another 49-0 defeat like last year, but keeping Wesley Chapel from piling up points will be a challenge.