DJ Pickett leads the way with three touchdowns
Wesley Chapel had the perfect game plan to keep Zephyrhills’ potent offense off the field Monday night. The Bulldog only had 15 offensive plays for the entire game, but that offense scored four times, the defense scored once and special teams added another TD as Zephyrhills rolled to a 42-0 district win.
“It’s good that we were able to score on defense and special teams because that is going to win games down the stretch against good teams,” said Zephyrhills coach Nick Carroll.
In a game rescheduled from Friday because of Hurricane Ian, the Wildcats put together an 8:34 second opening drive, but DJ Pickett ended it quickly with an interception returned 78 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 7-0 late in the opening quarter.
Pickett added another TD in the first half on a 16-yard reception on a pass from quarterback Brendyn Colella and other in the second half for 60 yards.
“We were pretty efficient on offense and we were able to throw the ball,” Carroll said.
A surprising explosive run from running back Maddox Rivera through the Wildcats’ defense put the Bulldogs up 21-0 in the first half.
The second half started different as the Bulldogs got the special team involved in the scoring when Roe Miller went 78 yards on the kickoff return to pay dirt to put Zephyrhills up 28-0 just 18 seconds into the half.
Pickett’s second score put the Bulldogs up 35-0 and started the running clock for the remainder of the game.
“After not playing for two weeks, played pretty well,” said Pickett, who has five TDs this season. “We came out fast. We have to be smarter with penalties, be able to stop the run and play as a team this Friday against South Sumter.”
Zephyrhills backup quarterback Tristan Lennon got in on the scoring party on a 24-yard quarterback keeper up the middle to put the Bulldogs up 42-0.
Before the game started, Carroll noticed there was not a lot of energy coming from his players. That changed on the field.
“It’s tough when you don’t practice for nine days and you practice Saturday and Sunday for two hours,” Carroll said.
Carroll won’t sit back and celebrate this win very long as the Bulldogs need prepare for a tough game against the 5-0 Raiders of South Sumter, who has outscored teams 201-36 so far this season.