FOOTBALL: Wiregrass Ranch opens year with win over Mitchell

BULLS 21 MUSTANGS 6

WESLEY CHAPEL — When talking about the best football teams in Pasco County, no one can deny Mitchell and Wiregrass Ranch are in the conversation.
 
The talk lately, however, hasn’t been much of debate because the Mustangs have slammed the door shut on any discussions. Well, until Friday night when the Bulls and Mustangs met in a highly anticipated matchup. Still remembering the 42-14 loss from last season, Wiregrass Ranch has badly wanted to avenge the defeat.
 
That they did, as the Bulls won in an unorthodox way, via a strong rushing attack led by a plethora of tailbacks. Wiregrass Ranch was able to grind out a 21-6 win over Mitchell and it was the Bulls’ first game of the season. The Mustangs drop to 2-1 on the season.
 
“Well, it’s always great to play a game. We want to play every game we have on our schedule,” Wiregrass Ranch coach Mark Kantor said.
 
It would be the Bulls (1-0) that changed up their style of attack due to the poor field conditions caused by constant rain in the area. Nonetheless, Kantor employed the three-headed rushing attack of Corneil McCrary (9 carries, 43 yards), Davion Brown (7 carries, 35 yards) and Kenneth Walker (9 carries, 44 yards) and they all had a hand in the win.
 
Many expected Friday to be the duo of quarterback Rocco Becht and wide receiver Bryson Rodgers getting the limelight, but both still had solid outings. Becht finished the evening 10 of 18 passing for 132 yards and a touchdown. The Bulls’ signal caller also rushed for 52 yards on four carries.
 
The kicking game for Mitchell (2-1) hurt the Mustangs in changing field position, as kicker Matthew Harkness was unavailable to play due to an undisclosed reason. Without being able to flip the field on Wiregrass Ranch, the Bulls started off many drives in a quality position.
 
Wiregrass Ranch’s first touchdown would be a 20-yard scamper by Becht with 10:32 left in the second quarter. Coming off a turnover, the Bulls cashed in another touchdown, this time from Brown on a 6-yard run. The Bulls’ biggest lead would be 21-0, when Becht hit wide receiver Jared West on a 37-yard scoring pass. Mitchell would eventually score on a 35-yard pass from Ethan Rice (6 of 14 passing, 100 yards) to wide receiver Daryk Simmons, who had three catches for 90 yards.
 
Andy Villamarzo can be reached andyvillamarzo@gmail.com and follow him on Twitter @avillamarzo.