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Nature Coast

Pickett, Parker stymie Sharks' playoff hopes

Hernando Today correspondent

Published:   |   Updated: October 12, 2013 at 03:41 PM

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BROOKSVILLE - In what was essentially an elimination game for both teams in Class 5A, District 6 play, the Zephyrhills Bulldogs literally ran to victory over the Nature Coast Sharks Friday night, 37-16.

Paced by the two-headed monster of Jaylen Pickett and Lorine Parker, the visiting Bulldogs (5-1 overall, 2-1 5A-6) pounded their way to 421 yards of offense, 306 of which came on the ground.

The scoring was started early by Pickett, who finished with 18 carries for180 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on a 1-yard dive.

The Sharks (2-4 overall, 2-2 5A-6) couldn't muster anything on their opening series and gave the ball back to the Bulldogs, which seemed to be the theme of the night.

"Not sure what happened," Sharks head coach Charles Liggett said. "We got outplayed, but I need to look at the film to say exactly how."

A beautiful play-action pass from Ty Tanner to Jordan Roberts for a 70-yard touchdown would extend the lead to 14-0, before Pickett added another 1-yard dive, sending the Sharks into the break down 21-0.

With the start of the second half brought some improvement to the Sharks' offense, which finished with 245 yards.

But the defense had no answer for the Bulldog attack. Despite being in the backfield on what seemed like every play, Nature Coast couldn't finish tackles for a loss, allowing Zephyrhills to move the ball at will down the field.

Pickett would add a 50-yard touchdown on the Bulldogs' first play of the second half, extending the lead to 28-0.

The lead would then be extended to 35-0 on a broken play, when Tanner looked to run and fumbled, but it was scooped up by Tre Everett for an 11-yard score.

Nature Coast refused to go away, however, as a 32-yard field goal by Austin Lacy and a 24-yard DeShawn Smith touchdown run cut the lead to 35-10.

The Bulldogs added a safety when the Sharks misfired on a punt from their own end zone, snapping it out of bounds.

Smith, who finished with 10 carries for 115 yards and two scores, would show his explosion on another 23-yard touchdown run, but it was too little, too late for the Sharks.

Up next is Nature Coast's toughest test as undefeated powerhouse and district favorite, South Sumter comes to town next Friday.

Zephyrhills 37 , Nature Coast 16

Qtr. Scoring 1 2 3 4

ZHS 7 14 14 2 - 37

NCT 0 0 3 13 - 16

Individual Scoring:

ZHS - Pickett 1 run (Gleaton kick)

ZHS - Roberts 70 pass from Tanner (Gleaton kick)

ZHS - Pickett 1 run (Gleaton kick)

ZHS - Pickett 50 run (Gleaton kick)

ZHS - Everett 11 run (Gleaton kick)

NCT - Lacy 32 field goal

ZHS - Safety (snap out of end zone)

NCT - Smith 24 run (Lacy kick)

NCT - Smith 23 run (Lacy kick failed)


First Downs 17 13

Att/Rush Yds 48-306 38-295

Comp/Att/Int 2-4-1 2-16-1

Passing Yds 115 2

Total Offense 52-421 40-268

Return Yards 102 167

Punts/Avg. 5-45 6-41

Fumbles/Lost 3-0 0-0

Penalties/Yards 12-125 7-65

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