Bulldogs air it out in 43-0 win over Land O’ Lakes

DJ Pickett, Fred Adams and Brendyn Colella shine in victory

The arrival of DJ Pickett, Fred Adams and Brendyn Colella to ZHS paid dividends Friday night in the Bulldogs’ 43-0 win over Land O’ Lakes in the Preseason Classic.

Pickett, the highly touted sophomore, made his presence known early with an emotional 26-yard TD reception. His emotion got the best of him when he was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD. He calmed down for two more scores and finished the night with four catches for 226 yards and three TDs.

Carroll was pleased with the win, but there are lessons to be learned for his stars.

“We have to stop being individuals and when we make big plays, we have to give the ball to the officials and move on to the next play,” Carroll said. “We have to be humble in the experience of scoring points. This is a young group of kids that don’t know how good they can be. It’s a possibility, they can be really good, but the other stuff is unacceptable.”

“It was a great feeling to be back,” Pickett said. “I’m back home. If I had a chance to get more, I would, but I’ll take what I got tonight.”

Pickett’s return brought back childhood memories of playing youth football at Krusen Field.

“Everybody on this team I played with since we were young so this takes me back to playing at ZPAL. I’m having so much fun out here.”

Adams, a transfer from Zephyrhills Christian Academy, had a pair of scores; one on offense and another on defense. Adams caught a 77-yard TD pass from Colella and had a 66-yard interception return for a score.

Adams said the defense showed up tonight to make sure they registered a shutout.

“Defense is important,” Adams said. “We set a shutout as the goal going in. Scoring on defense and offense just helps this team win. I’m here for my boys.”

Colella, a quarterback from Wiregrass Ranch, settled in with his new weapons and finished the first half with 346 yards and four touchdowns.

“I love having all those weapons out there like DJ and Fred,” Colella said. “Everybody here is super positive. This is a very optimistic environment. My expectations are to win every game this season, the playoffs and get a championship for his school.”

AJ Jackson made a spectacular catch late in the fourth quarter from backup quarterback Tristan Lennon to round out the scoring.

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