DADE CITY — This one, Pasco might want to forget, but won’t.
It’s a loss that hurts, but, in the end, could motivate.
After a 38-14 drubbing from Class 5A-District 6 foe Bushnell South Sumter, Pasco’s winningest coach told his players to keep their heads up because there are still postseason chances for the team that is now 2-3 and 0-2 in its new district.
“I see no reason to hang your head tonight,” said Tom McHugh, whose Pasco team hasn’t had two district losses and at least three losses in a season since his first year as head coach in 2007 (6-5).
“We can play with that team ... but we’ve got guys who have to go both ways and we got tired. ... I don’t want to forget it because I thought we did a good job defensively. They pound and pound and pound it. There’s nothing to be ashamed of tonight.”
While the Pirates’ pride might hurt, it’s the actual injuries that could hamper the team more.
Pasco loss three impact starters, two of which needed medical attention at a local hospital. Defensive back Phillip Wilson took a helmet to the bicep and was taken to a hospital for examination, while ofensive lineman Jacob Schildt dislocated a finger for the second straight week and must see a specialist.
However, most concerning is the apparent leg injury to star sophomore Nate Craig. On a kickoff return late in the fourth quarter, Craig landed wrong on his leg and had to be carted out of W.F. Edwards Stadium.
“I don’t think those will hurt their morale, but it doesn’t help our numbers,” McHugh said.
The night did start off well for Pasco against the visiting Raiders (6-0, 2-0). The Pirates took a 7-0 lead on a 30-yard sweep by Craig, whose 17th birthday was Friday.
But mistakes would doom the Pirates. They had five turnovers for the second straight week, including an interception that South Sumter turned into seven points three plays later.
“Right now, we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do,” McHugh said. “Can’t worry about anyone else except who we play.”
South Sumter 0 17 7 14 — 38
Pasco 7 0 7 0 — 14
P - Craig 30 run (Coats kick)
SS - Gibson 56 pass from Sapp (Moir kick)
SS - FG Moir 23
SS - Faulk 1 run (Moir kick)
SS - Gibson 11 run (Moir kick)
P - Johns 1 run (Coats kick)
SS - Brown 2 run (Moir kick)
SS - Sallie 6 run (Moir kick)