HOLIDAY — Thanks to a stifling defense and lingering memories of last season’s 4-6 finish, Land O’ Lakes is in familiar territory — undefeated and looking like one of Pasco County’s best teams.
The Gators nearly earned a second straight shutout, holding Anclote (0-2) to 154 total yards — 62 on Trent Crawford’s touchdown run with less than 2 minutes remaining — forced three turnovers and even scored a defensive touchdown.
“These kids use last season as motivation, and right now they’re just flying all over the place defensively,” said Land O’ Lakes coach Brian Wachtel. “We had a great game plan, and when you play your tails off, this is what can happen.”
James Pensyl had first-half scoring tosses of 30 and 29 yards to Kamal Wells to give the Gators (2-0) a 15-0 halftime lead.
With a defense that limited Anclote star running back Willie Barrett to 23 yards and didn’t allow a point on three Sharks possessions that started in Land O’ Lakes territory, it was an advantage that proved insurmountable.
Pensyl finished 17-of-31 for 223 yards to pace an offense that gained 310 yards and had 16 first downs.
Land O’ Lakes 7 8 3 6 — 24
Anclote 0 0 0 7 — 7
L – K. Wells 30 pass from Pensyl (Dowler kick)
L – K. Wells 29 pass from Pensyl (Salmon pass from McGuire)
L – FG Dowler 31
L – D. Wells 0 fumble return (kick failed)
A – Crawford 62 run (Peppe kick)