The Pasco County prep football Top 5 is voted on by correspondents Steve Campbell, Mike Camunas, Chris Errington, Kyle LoJocano, Bart O’Connell, Kenny Sanders and Andy Villamarzo.
1. Land O’ Lakes, 64 points (5 first-place votes)
Last week: Idle: The Gators will take the week of rest and get back to their high-tempo offense run by junior lefty QB James Pensyl that has produced the area’s best passing attack. Land O’ Lakes is still the county’s lone remaining undefeated team — one that’s outscoring opponents 165-54 — and eyeing the program’s first district title since 2008 that would complete coach Brian Wachtel’s turnaround from last season.
2. Sunlake, 60 points (2 first-place votes)
Last week: 20-3 win vs. Mitchell: Led by LB Ben Wood and DL Zion Osborn, the defense has allowed 23 points, no touchdowns in the past two games and recorded three shutouts. While still having success, Sunlake’s offense doesn’t match its offense despite the breakout year by RB Nathan Johnson. Though the Seahawks took a hit losing starting QB Dayton Feiden to an ACL injury, this could be a tough team to beat if Sunlake’s offense starts to average more than 18 points.
3. Zephyrhills, 42 points
Last week: Idle: The Bulldogs want it all. They want a return to the postseason because the long, and tough, wait since 2006 has been just that: too long. Coach Reggie Roberts has done a remarkable job turning this program back into a contender and competitive team, and if you don’t think the Bulldogs don’t want the season to play out where they clinch a playoff spot over 9-Mile War rival Pasco, then you clearly don’t know Pasco County football.
4. Pasco, 24 points
Last week: 38-14 loss to Bushnell South Sumter: This could be the ugliest season, so far, under coach Tom McHugh’s tenure, yet, its not as the Pirates are a bad team. For starters, Pasco has a favorable schedule to finish out the season strong and still has a slim chance to make the postseason. The real problem will be figuring out how to make the offense more productive and less mistake (and turnover) prone and doing so without star sophomore, Nate Craig.
5. Hudson, 18 points
Last week: 43-7 win vs. Gulf: This season, Hudson is a serious district title contender, which would be its first since 2005. The Cobras face the top-ranked Gators in a non-district matchup this week, but the biggest game of the season will most likely come when they travel to 5A-7 foe Anclote with playoff hopes on the line.