DADE CITY — In just the teams’ third ever meeting, Brooksville Nature Coast did the same thing it has done to Pasco in the past: use a late rally to stun the Pirates.
The Sharks (2-2, 2-0 Class 5A-District 6) did it again Friday night by edging their new district foe in a 29-28 thriller.
“We had heart — our banner at the practice field says ‘Go hard or go home’ and we just refused to lose,” Sharks coach Charles Liggett said. “I chalk this up to our kids because they really wanted this one.”
In 2007, Nature Coast came from behind and scored with four seconds left to defeat Pasco. And in 2008, the Sharks used a two-point conversion for the 18-17 win.
History repeated itself on Friday as Nature Coast was behind 28-21 in the fourth quarter after taking a late safety and then forcing a Pasco punt. The Sharks’ game-winning drive started at their own 33-yard line and they scored on a 50-yard DeShawn Smith run. Nature Coast took the lead, 29-28, with a Ryan Quigley pass to Christian Maner on the 2-point conversion.
“We’ve been saying it all the time that if we get this district win that we’ll be off to the races in the district,” Smith said.
“We had a lot of heart tonight and we were never going to give up against Pasco.”
In the first half, the Pirates (2-2, 0-1) jumped out to a 19-0 lead behind a 17-yard touchdown pass from Grant Starling to Bowman Archibald, a 46-yard catch by Nate Craig and an 8-yard run by Jaquan Clower, who had 113 yards rushing.
But Pasco turned the ball over five times in the game, and Nature Coast took advantage by scoring 15 points off turnovers, including a 23-yard fumble return by Smith, who also had a game-high 116 rushing yards.
“The guys aren’t doing the wrong thing at all,” Pasco coach Tom McHugh said.
“We adjusted to what they gave us, but you can’t overcome five turnovers. You can’t do it. We have to stop doing it.”
N. Coast 0 15 6 8 — 29
Pasco 6 13 7 2 — 28
P – Archibald 17 pass from Starling (kick blocked)
P – Clower 8 run (pass failed)
P – Craig 46 pass from Starling (Coats kick)
NC – Smith 39 run (Lacy kick)
NC – Smith 23 fumble return (Smith run)
P – Johns 3 run (Coats kick)
NC – Maner 9 run (run failed)
P – Safety
NC – Smith 50 run (Maner pass from Quigley)