Football: Class 3 region final preview (Suburban) — Nov. 25

Class 3S

Zephyrhills (9-3) at Lake Wales (12-0), 7:30

The Bulldogs are in the region final for the first time.

To keep its playoff run going, Zephyrhills will have to get past top seed Lake Wales, which shut out the Bulldogs (33-0) in the season opener.

In that game, Zephyrhills had 233 yards of offense but committed five turnovers, including a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.

The Bulldogs have improved considerably since then and are currently on a six-game winning streak, all by 12 or more points.

Brendyn Colella has thrown for a combined 19 touchdown passes during that streak, including a Pasco County record eight in a region quarterfinal win over Gulf two weeks ago.

The biggest playmaker for Zephyrhills, on both sides of the ball, is DJ Pickett, who has 12 receiving touchdowns on four picks on defense.

Producing those big-time numbers will be tough against the Highlanders, who have recorded six shutouts and allowed just 51 points all season. Lake Highland also has recorded 84 sacks and 29 interceptions as a team so far this season.

Stat leaders

CategoryZephyrhillsLake Wales
Passing yardsBrendyn Colella, 1,510 (23 TDs)Trent Grotjan, 1,621 (24 TDs)
Rushing yardsRodney Smith, 930 (12 TDs)Corey Harris Jr., 657 (8 TDs)
Receiving yardsDJ Pickett, 787 (12 TDs)Carlos Mitchell, 579 (10 TDs)
TacklesMarcell Tucker, 75Sean Major, 135
SacksTwo tied with three. Terrell James, 17
InterceptionsDJ Pickett, 4Two tied with seven.