Zephyrhills Free Press

Bulldogs go on a Spring Fling

Zephyrhills takes down Mitchell 27-7

Timothy Jackson caught a pair of touchdowns and threw for another as Zephyrhills cruised to a 27-7 win over Mitchell during the annual Spring Game at Bulldog Stadium.

“We came together tonight and played our parts,” said Jackson. “We still need to work this summer to get better in the fall. This is a good win, but we can’t settle for anything.”

Zephyrhills struck early on the first offensive play from scrimmage when quarterback Jaxson Rivera tossed a 45-yard TD pass to a wide-open Jackson. Rivera’s extra point gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 advantage with 9:52 left in the first quarter.

“We’re proud in how the kids came out,” Carroll said. “They worked hard in the offseason. This a step to the right direction. This is still spring football. Mitchell is a good football that is coach really well. We’re excited to see the scoreboard.”

After giving up the Mustangs’ lone touchdown of the game, the Bulldogs closed out the half with a little trickery when Jackson took the pitch from Rivera and then launched a 48-yard pass to Maguire Neal for a TD to put the Bulldogs up 14-7 at halftime.

“Our communication is so much better than last week,” said lineman Kamil Mehrab. “There was a lot of teamwork out especially on offense. Our skill players showed us what they can do.”

Halftime featured the crowning of Homecoming royalty when Rivera was named king and senior class president Madison Aguilera was crown queen.

Moments after the crown was placed on his head, Rivera started the third quarter almost like the first. Zephyrhills scored on the second play from scrimmage when Rivera connected with Jackson on an 80-yard touchdown pass. The PAT failed and the Bulldogs led 20-7.

“The offense moved the ball very well tonight,” Rivera said. “We improved a lot since last fall. TJ and I have been working a lot together.”

Later in the quarter, Rivera left the game with a shoulder injury leaving the quarterback duties to Raleigh Allen.

The Bulldog defense answered the call shutting down the defending Class 7A district champs. Neal, at defensive end, led the way with nine tackles including a pair of sacks.

Penalties hurt Zephyrhills as the Bulldogs were hit with over 160 yards in penalties.

“We had a lot of penalties,” Carroll said. “There were way too many penalties. In games, that’s going to lose us football games.”

JJ McGovern added the final score on a three-yard plunge and Christian Clemons booted the extra point to give the Bulldogs the 27-7 winning advantage.

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