Football: Pasco County Super Seven

1. Wiregrass Ranch (4-1)

Up next: vs. Tampa Bay Tech

A 21-6 win against Mitchell in the season opener and a 40-7 rout last week over Zephyrhills solidified the Bulls’ status as the top team in Pasco County. In the win over the Bulldogs, quarterback Rocco Becht threw for five touchdowns, three going to Bryson Rodgers. The offense, which is averaging 37 points per game, gets all the headlines, but the defense has delivered, too. Wiregrass Ranch has allowed seven points or less in three of its four victories. The next two weeks will be pivotal for the Bulls with Class 7A, District 10 games against Tampa Bay Tech on Friday and Armwood on Oct. 22. 

2. Mitchell (6-1)

Up next: vs. Largo

The Mustangs have won four straight, including an overtime victory over Gaither two weeks ago that kept Mitchell at the top of the Class 7A, District 9 standings and a 51-14 rout over previously undefeated Hudson last week. The play of the defensive front has been a big reason for the Mustangs’ success. Mitchell has 27 sacks, including a team-leading 10 by Tyler Geary. A win Friday against Largo will all but clinch the district title for the Mustangs. 

3. Zephyrhills (5-1)

Up next: Friday at Cypress Creek

Last week’s loss to Wiregrass Ranch snapped the Bulldogs’ 11-game regular season win streak that dated back to last season. Despite the setback, Zephyrhills still is undefeated in Class 5A, District 9 play. The Bulldogs can stay in first place with a win over Cypress Creek on Friday. 

4. Land O’ Lakes (6-0)

Up next: vs. Tampa Catholic

Playing an independent schedule, the Gators are the lone undefeated team left in the county. They have remained perfect thanks to the passing combination of quarterback Kyle Horvath and receiver Kennen Ayala. The two connected on three touchdown passes in last week’s 40-17 win over Cypress Creek. Part of the reason Land O’ Lakes is not ranked higher is the schedule. All six wins have come against teams with a losing record. Friday’s game against Tampa Catholic will be the toughest test of the season for the Gators. 

5. Hudson (5-1)

Up next: vs. Nature Coast

The Cobras have to regroup after last week’s loss to Mitchell snapped their perfect start to the regular season. Hudson still is 2-0 and tied with Zephyrhills for first place in Class 5A, District 9. Offensive playmakers such as quarterback Hunter Young (1,431 yards, 18 touchdowns) and receiver Ladamien Starks (579 yards, nine touchdowns) will have to come through against stingy Nature Coast defense in Friday’s crucial district contest. 

6. Zephyrhills Christian (5-1)

Up next: at North Florida Educational Institute

After losing to Jacksonville University Christian in the season opener, the Warriors have won five straight, outscoring foes by a combined 251-30 during that stretch. The defense, led by Zyon Vaughn-Nobles (11 sacks), has been dominant, recording three shutouts. And the offense has displayed some balance with quarterback Jayce Nixon (1,003 yards, 11 touchdowns) and running back Dontrevious Jackson (1,065 yards, 10 touchdowns). 

7. River Ridge (3-4)

Up next: vs. Fivay

Since starting 1-4, the Royal Knights have won two straight, including last week’s 28-21 victory over Wesley Chapel. A big reason for the turnaround has been the play of the offense, which scored 47 points against top-ranked Wiregrass Ranch three weeks ago and is averaging 39 points per game in the last five contests. Against the Wildcats last week, quarterback Trenton Hawks led the way with 281 yards (188 passing, 93 rushing) and two touchdowns on the ground. 

On the bubble: Wesley Chapel (3-2), Cypress Creek (2-4).