Warriors still have a chip on their shoulder
The players and coaches at Zephyrhills Christian Academy entered the 2021 season with a chip on their shoulders and after Friday’s 55-0 drubbing of visiting Pasco, that chip is still there.
The Class 2A Warriors improved to 3-1 on the season after pounding the Class 6A Pirates. The win pushed ZCA to an 11-2 record against Pasco County teams over the last six seasons.
Coach Mike Smith is still looking for respect for his program that has been a perennial playoff team. The Warriors fears no team.
“It’s the same thing every week,” Smith said. “We hear the constant crap and talk about how we’re a small school. Anytime, we play anybody in this county, we’re going to be ruthless. I’m not letting up because it’s ridiculous.”
Smith said the chip on the Warriors shoulder became much bigger five weeks ago referred to the preseason classic where Zephyrhills High School opted out of the game because of COVID-19 related issues.
“They bailed out of the game, but they had practice,” Smith said. “It wasn’t COVID. They just didn’t want to play us, because you didn’t want to lose to a 2A team. That was the beginning of the year. That was the Zephyrhills crap. They continued to practice and had a big FCA dinner. You can do all that, but you can’t play the game.”
Smith has put the rest of the teams in Pasco County on notice.
“The reality is we’re ready to play anybody,” Smith said. “We have a good team. We have a good squad and we’re getting better.”
The Warrior’s progress was evident Friday and let the Pirates know instantly that the Warriors are for real when Andrew Felder took the opening kickoff 88 yards for a touchdown. ZCA’s next possession saw Dontrevius Jackson went 63 yards for another score.
Felder hit pay dirt again in the first quarter when he hauled in a 67-yard pass from freshman quarterback Jayce Nixon. The Warriors were up 18-0 in the first 12 minutes.
It didn’t take much time in the second quarter before Jackson dashed 28 yards to the end zone. The kick was good and the Warriors were cruising 25-0. ZCA added two more TDs when Malachi Johnson caught a 15-yard scoring strike from Nixon and EJ Allen dashed for a score from five-yards out.
ZCA was up on the Pirates 41-0 at halftime.
With a running clock since midway through the second quarter, the Warriors worked on keeping their foot on the gas going to the air where Fred Adams caught a 25-yard TD pass from Adrian Miller to bring the score to 48-0.
“We have three great quarterbacks and they are putting it together,” said Smith.
Late in the game, the ZCA defense got into the scoring when Reginald Pry blocked a Pasco punt and
“The defense is playing great. Event when their backs are against the wall, they are stuffing them,” Smith said. “Coach Jones has done a great job with them.”
The Warriors have additional motivation from all the doubters.
“It’s non-stop,” Smith said. We hear this constantly in this community. They say we play in a pasture and we have metal buildings. It is constant stuff in this community. We will beat anybody in this county right now. Look at the score tonight and you can tell clearly who we are.”