Owens, Delgado lead Sharks to Regional Semifinal
By: Brandon Webster
The Sharks relied heavily on the legs of T.J. Owens, and the senior responded, with 22 carries for 387 yard and four TD’s in a 35-21 home win against Zephyrhills.
In a rematch of last year’s 5A regional quarterfinal, Nature Coast moved to 10-0 on the season, behind the leadership of Owens and timely defensive plays.
A 6-yard touchdown run by Owens would be the only damage of the first quarter, as the Sharks took a 6-0 lead into quarter number two.
Nature Coast would extend their lead to 20-0 as Owens scampered 58-yards to the end zone before Brian Haygood hit Gil Delgado on a slant which he took 56-yards for the score.
Much like last year, Zephyrhills would mount a comeback as Jarrett Black intercepted an ill-advised Haygood pass for a 62-yard defensive touchdown.
Before the half, the Bulldogs would cut the lead to six as Tre’pavis Mobley scored on a 5-yard touchdown run.
Entering the fourth quarter tied, Charles Harrison III had his pass intercepted deep in Shark territory by Gil Delgado.
The Interception would prove fatal for a Zephyrhills team that had momentum and seemed to be driving to take the lead.
On the ensuing drive, Owens scored from 27-yards out, extending the lead to 28-14.
Mobley scored on a 2-yard touchdown run with 4:22 left in the game to trim he deficit to seven, but the Bulldogs would get no closer.
The dagger would be delivered in the form of a 52-yard touchdown run by Owens with just over three minutes left
“I knew I was going to put up big numbers.” Owens said after the game. “I’m hungry and just like any other back I want the ball.”
With the win, the Sharks advance to the 5A regional semifinal, where they will travel to River Ridge High in a rematch of last year’s district semifinal.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, weather permitting.