ZEPHYRHILLS (0-3, 0-1 3A-DISTRICT 7)
AT PASCO (1-1, 1-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7 p.m./W.F. Edwards Stadium, 36850 SR 52, Dade City
COACHES: Troy Hochstetler/Greg Mathis (Zephyrhills), Tom McHugh (Pasco)
LAST MEETING: Pasco 24, Zephyrhills 0 (2008)
LAST WEEK: Land O' Lakes 14, Zephyrhills 0; Pasco 45, Wesley Chapel 6
NEED TO KNOW: Simply put, Zephyrhills' offense has not been good enough for the Bulldogs to win. They have scored 14 total points (and been shut out twice) in their past four games dating to last year. Since 2007 (23 games) they have scored more than 14 points eight times. They are 8-0 in those games and 1-14 in all others, a testament to how good their defense has been. ... Looking for an offensive spark, the Bulldogs are hoping to get back QB Jamal Roberts this week. Roberts has yet to make his Zephyrhills regular-season debut due to an appendectomy prior to the team's season opener in Week 2. ... Despite the Bulldogs' woes, McHugh has constantly reminded his players it isn't always the best team who wins, but the team that plays best. To that end, Pasco players have admitted they weren't sure why Zephyrhills is winless. ... Pasco will attempt to match up against a defense McHugh labels as fast, runs to the ball and never quits. ... In what has been dubbed the "Nine-Mile War," this is the 52nd meeting, of which Pasco has won 34.
GULF (3-1, 0-1 3A-DISTRICT 7)
AT LAND O' LAKES (3-0, 1-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Gator Stadium, 20325 Gator Lane, Land O' Lakes
COACHES: Jay Fulmer (Gulf), Matt Kitchie (Land O' Lakes)
LAST MEETING: Land O' Lakes 40, Gulf 7 (2006)
LAST WEEK: Sunlake 35, Gulf 14; Land O' Lakes 14, Zephyrhills 0
NEED TO KNOW: Believe it or not, practices actually have been upbeat for the Buccaneers following their loss to Sunlake. "You have to give them credit, they came out on Monday ready to get back to work," Fulmer said. ... Once again, Gulf will be facing a team much larger in numbers. "If we don't get on top in the first half, we'll struggle," Fulmer said. "With only 24 players, a lot of guys are going both ways and sometimes they just run out of gas." ... That battle of attrition has not been missed by Kitchie, who hopes to exploit those numbers. Land O' Lakes will dress about 60 players. ... Kitchie, who called Gulf a scrappy crew and one not to overlook, said he was in the same situation while coaching at Bradenton St. Stephen's. ... The Gators' offense is coming in with a point to prove after scoring just once in their 14-0 win against Zephyrhills. Meanwhile, the Gators' defense got a free lunch from Beef O'Brady's on Thursday. ... RB Tyler Peak got a new knee brace and is expected to be a bigger factor, while backup Ryan Lane is out with a separated shoulder suffered Tuesday.
HUDSON (2-1) AT BERKELEY PREP (2-1)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./4811 Kelly Road, Tampa
COACHES: Mark Nash (Hudson), Dominick Ciao (Berkeley Prep)
LAST MEETING: First meeting
LAST WEEK: Hudson did not play; Berkeley Prep 42, Clearwater Central Catholic 14
NEED TO KNOW: These schools would seem far more likely to meet in volleyball than football, but this matchup on the gridiron should prove to be compelling. Both squads are coming in on highs after lopsided wins, expect to make the playoffs and are well-coached. And there is a classic contrast of styles with the passing of Hudson (814 yards, nine TDs from QB Zack Wynn) against the running of Berkeley, led by Nelson Agholor, who had four TDs against CCC. ... The Bucs are 2-0 against Pasco County teams in the past seven years, beating Wiregrass Ranch in 2007 and '08. Hudson has not faced a team from Hillsborough during that stretch.
WESLEY CHAPEL (1-3, 1-0 3A-DISTRICT 7)
AT MITCHELL (4-0, 1-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Mitchell Stadium, 2323 Little Road, Trinity
COACHES: John Castelamare (Wesley Chapel), Brian Wachtel (Mitchell)
LAST MEETING: Wesley Chapel 22, Mitchell 14 (2008)
LAST WEEK: Pasco 45, Wesley Chapel 6; Mitchell 57, Anclote 20
NEED TO KNOW: This district matchup is a battle of former Class 5A-District 5 foes. Mitchell is 4-0 for the first time in school history and hasn't had a home game since Week 1. ... The Mustangs didn't have much trouble defeating first-year Anclote last week as junior Ricky Trinidad rushed for 135 yards, his fourth consecutive 100-plus game. He has 731 yards and seven touchdowns in four games. ... Many will say the key to a Wesley Chapel victory is to stop Trinidad. He's just part of the puzzle. In addition to sound defense and moving a young offense, the Wildcats cannot turn the ball over as they did last week against Pasco. The Pirates scored on two of those turnovers. ... Wesley Chapel OG Jacob Battin will miss the game due to a knee injury.
ANCLOTE (0-3, 0-1 3A-DISTRICT 7)
AT SUNLAKE (1-2, 1-0)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Seahawk Stadium, 3023 Sunlake Blvd., Land O' Lakes
COACHES: Matt Wicks (Anclote), Bill Browning (Sunlake)
LAST MEETING: First meeting
LAST WEEK: Mitchell 57, Anclote 20; Sunlake 35, Gulf 14
NEED TO KNOW: Sunlake pulled off a major upset with its win at Gulf - the Seahawks' first-ever district win and only the second win in school history. It ended an 11-game losing streak. Now, Browning needs to see how his team reacts following a win. "We didn't handle our (Kickoff Classic) win against Ridgewood very well," Browning said. Practices have been tough this week. He remembers what it's like for a first-year program and won't take Anclote lightly. "They have a lot more talent in their first year than we did in our first year," he said.
RIVER RIDGE (1-3) AT
BROOKSVILLE CENTRAL (0-3)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./The Bear's Den, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, Brooksville
COACHES: Tim Stevens (River Ridge), Cliff Lohrey (Central)
LAST MEETING: River Ridge 24, Central 7 (2008)
LAST WEEK: Tarpon Springs 49, River Ridge 3; Ocala Lake Weir 41, Central 21
NEED TO KNOW: The Royal Knights, no doubt eager to forget about last week's loss, now face an opponent that, with the possible exception of Pasco, has faced the toughest schedule north of Hillsborough County. The Bears lost to state-ranked Nature Coast and Bushnell South Sumter before their most recent setback against another playoff probable from Class 4A-District 5. ... The Royal Knights unveiled a new-look backfield last week, with two-year starting RB Stavros Arianas moving to fullback and sophomore David Daubert manning the tailback spot. Daubert looked good in spurts, but Arianas still had the most carries. Aside from a late interception, QB Kenny Toce was efficient, completing seven of his first eight passes in a game plan that should work better against the Bears. ... Central has been weak defensively, allowing 24 or more points in their past seven games dating to last year.
RIDGEWOOD (0-4) AT SPRINGSTEAD (2-2)
WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./Booster Stadium, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill
COACHES: Chris Taylor (Ridgewood), Bill Vonada (Springstead)
LAST WEEK: Wiregrass Ranch 28, Ridgewood 8; Springstead 28, Lecanto 7
LAST MEETING: Springstead 28, Ridgewood 14 (2008)
NEED TO KNOW: The Rams dropped their fourth consecutive game despite a 109-yard rushing performance from Cameron Rodriguez. But quarterback Scott Kujak was only 3-for-12 for 25 yards and threw an interception. Through four games, Kujak is 19 of 52 for 261 yards and only one TD pass. Eagles fullback Devean Huff was all Springstead needed last week as he rushed for 168 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries.
Eddie Daniels, Rick Harmon, Bart O'Connell