ZEPHYRHILLS – The 61st edition of the “Nine Mile War” was damp and dominate. The Zephyrhills Bulldogs shut out the Pasco Pirates 49-0 in a drizzle at W.F. Edwards Stadium to win the fourth consecutive rivalry game between the two schools.
The tone was set early when on the second play from scrimmage, Cartrell Strong broke free for a 50-yard rushing touchdown just 43 seconds into the game for his first of five TD’s on the night. Strong’s second score came just before the end of the quarter with a 38-yard touchdown run.
Early into the second, Tre’pavis Mobley joined the scoring train with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Doug Crawford who has been red hot over the past four weeks. With an unsuccessful 2-point conversion, the Bulldogs took a 19-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Just five minutes into the third Strong struck again with a 25-yard scamper. Jaquan Sheppard tacked on the 2-point try to take it to 27-0 Bulldogs.
The Pirates ensuing possession ended early with a Devin Jennings fumble on his own 25 with 6 minutes remaining in the third. From that point it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to strike again. On the first play of the drive Zyre Roundtree found pay dirt for a 34-0 lead, then Strong would start the running clock on a 25-yard scoring run, his fourth of the night.
A Pirate punt with Strong receiving the ball at the 25 resulted in the fifth Strong score when he took it to the house, 75-yards for a touchdown. After another 2-point conversion by Crawford it ended the scoring at 49-0 Bulldogs.
It was only the second time in school history that Zephyrhills went 10-0 for the regular season, outscoring their opponents 387-83 in the process. The Bulldogs will start the 5A FHSAA regional playoffs at home next week and will find out who their opponent will be after the 2018 brackets are released Sunday.