Black Friday has taken on an entirely new meaning to the Gulf faithful.
In financial terms, "black" means a surplus. Friday night at W.F. Edwards Stadium, the surplus for Gulf was in many of the wrong categories as Pasco blasted the Buccaneers, 50-0, advancing to next week's Class 3A-Region 2 final against Citra North Marion. Pasco will host.
"At first we came out kind of slow, but as the game went along, we started picking it up," said Pasco quarterback D.J. Clower, who was 4-for-9 passing for 73 yards and three touchdowns. "We started clicking on all cylinders. A lot of hard work paid off."
It's the second time this season Pasco beat Gulf. The Pirates knocked the Bucs from the ranks of the unbeaten, 21-20, Nov. 7 in Dade City. That win gave Pasco its second consecutive district title. It also gave the squad the Sunshine Athletic Conference crown.
Conventional wisdom said this game, too, would be a close affair, but Gulf (10-2) was without starting quarterback Madison Burr, who suffered tendon damage to his left leg as well as a sprain to his left knee last week against St. Cloud. That cued the Pasco (11-1) defense to tee off on sophomore backup Jacob Jackson. Although Jackson was sacked just three times, he was constantly under pressure.
Compounding Jackson's woes was the fact the Pirates' defense smothered Gulf's record-setting running back Adrian "Bubba" Golden. The junior, who entered the night with a Pasco County record 2,460 rushing yards, was held to 49 yards on 21 carries.
In all, Gulf's offense, which came in averaging 39.9 points in its 11 previous games, was held to 52 yards of total offense.
Conversely, the Pirates' 50 points were a season high and they put up 295 yards of offense. Pasco receiver Chaise Dunn lit the Gulf defense up for three of Pasco's seven touchdowns.
"Over the summer, we worked real hard and came out every day and ran and ran and talked about it, how we had to be 10-plus," Dunn said. "We lost against Nature Coast and I think that kind of fired us up and we just kept on rolling."
The game started off slow as Gulf punted and turned the ball over on downs twice in its first three possessions. It was the same story for Pasco as the Pirates punted twice and turned the ball over once on downs.
Then the flood gates opened.
Jamaal Sampson had a 27-yard touchdown run for the first score of the night.
Four minutes later, on Pasco's ensuing possessing, Dunn lined up as a tight end and raced down the seam of the Gulf defense untouched. Clower delivered a perfect pass for a 46-yard score and the 14-0 advantage.
On Gulf's next possession, Tim Saylor sacked Jackson for a safety.
Gulf0000-0Pasco030146-50 P-Sampson 27 run (Allen kick)
P-Dunn 46 pass from Clower (Allen kick)
P-Haynes 12 run (kick failed)
P-Dunn 4 pass from Clower (Dunn pass from Clower)
P-Johnson 6 pass from Clower (Allen kick)
P-Ishmar 47 pass from Johnson (Allen kick)
P-Dunn 6 pass from McLaughlin (kick blocked)