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Pasco Tribune Class 5A state semifinal football preview

Class 5A-Region 2 PASCO (13-0) AT CRAWFORDVILLE WAKULLA (11-2) WHEN/WHERE: 7:30 p.m./J.D. Jones Stadium, 3237 Coastal Hwy, Crawfordville COACHES: Tom McHugh (Pasco), Scott Klees (Wakulla)
LAST WEEK: Pasco 31, Jesuit 7; Wakulla 20, Ponte Vedra 6 LAST MEETING: First meeting STATE TOURNAMENT RECORDS: Pasco 16-13; Wakulla 19-17 RADIO/INTERNET: WZHR, 1400 AM/www.inspiration1400.com NEED TO KNOW: In the Pirates second state semifinals appearance in the past four seasons, and their third overall, they face a team that has a solid postseason history, including making the state tournament from 2002-08. Pasco will, as it did against Jesuit, rely on its speed at every position, especially its defense that forced four interceptions and had three sacks. Led by Nick Wilson, Aryn Strickland, Philip Thompson and Joey Ivie, plus a hard-hitting, shut down secondary featuring Trey Dudley-Giles, Janarion Grant (2 INT a piece of Jesuit) and Lane Stancil. Dudley-Giles and Grant make a formidable punt return team, one that has teams kicking away from them both, as well as David Emmunel and Grant on kickoffs. Quarterback Jacob Guy (36 TD passes) leads an offense that has known each other for years, including Grant, Dudley-Giles and Emmanuel, all of whom won five straight Super Bowls in PAL football. Since the postseason began, coach Tom McHugh and company have been working in more wildcat offensive plays that feature Dudley-Giles or Grant at QB, with Guy at wide out. Dudley-Giles and Guy even hooked up for a two-point conversion pass against Jesuit, while many of the wildcat plays have Grant picking up big yardage. … The War Eagles feature a wing-T offense that is mainly centered around the ground attack, featuring junior QB Caleb Stephens, senior QB/K Connor Smith and senior RB Marshane Godbolt. However, Wakulla's main back is Will Thompson, who had 112 yards against Ponte Vedra, plus 1,300-plus yards this season. This run-powered offense had an impressive 20-14 win over the perennial state title contender, Tallahassee Godby, which was the team that finally knocked off the state semifinalist Pirates in 2008. Keep an eye on players such as defensive back Mikal Cromartie, who leads the team in interceptions, plus another running back, Deonte Hutchinson should get some touches. … This season is Wakulla's first state semifinal since 1981, while the War Eagles had back-to-back state titles in 1980-81 and were the 1978 state runner up. … Pasco, almost 19 years ago, won the 1992 Class 3A state title, defeating Jesuit 28-16. STAFF PICKS: Rick Harmon-Pasco; Mike Camunas-Pasco; Chris Errington-Pasco; Bart O'Connell-Pasco; Andy Villamarzo-Pasco. ONLINE: Live blog and scoreboard at TBO.com/sports/preps or follow @TBO_PrepSports on Twitter. Mike Camunas
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