Zephyrhills Loses To Tampa Catholic In Season Opener
Finally, the 2020 Zephyrhills High School football season opens, albeit to an upsetting loss.
Story and photos by Dave Walters
After COVID-19 knocked down the Bulldogs at the start of the season, it set the wheels in motion for Friday’s 35-7loss to Tampa Catholic in the delayed season opener.
The Bulldogs played an undefeated Crusaders team and Bulldogs’ lack of offensive timing, missed secondary assignments and conditioning were exploited. On the plus side, the defense did a strong job stopping Tampa Catholic’s run game.
The Crusaders jumped out to a 20-0lead heading into halftime following breakdowns in the Bulldogs’ defensive secondary. TC quarterback Xavione
Washington connected three times with AJ Williams for touchdowns of 48, 31 an 37 yards.
In that fist half, we didn’t roll over the top and that guy was wide open,” said ZHS coach Nick Carroll. “We’ll get it corrected.”
Zephyrhills quarterback TJ Jackson throws a pass around the pressure of the Tampa Catholic defense Friday night.
The Bulldog football program was the victim of a case of COVID-19 that shut the program down for two weeks forcing the cancellation of the first two games of the season.
The long-awaited season opener provided a barometer to where the Bulldogs need to be as the shortened season progresses.
This is Sept. 25 and we’re playing our first game,” Carroll said. “There’s definitely positives in it. We have to correct it, move forward from it, flush it and move on.
There was no quit in the Bulldogs as they pushed Tampa Catholic the entire
game. Aside from the big plays in the first half, Zephyrhills played solid football.
“They kept fighting and that’s all we can ask for,” Carroll added. “It speaks
volumes as to who they are as people.”
Trailing 35-0, the offense moved the ball with a touchdown coming on a 10-yard run by senior Zyre Roundtree, who finished the night with 138 yards rushing on 17 carries.
“This is our first game and we need to capitalize on the small stuff,” Roundtree said. “We capitalize on the small things,
it would have been a better game.“ As seniors, we have to lead and the
younger players will follow behind. We need to be leaders out there.”