HOLIDAY — Anclote coach Matt Wicks had a simple game plan for his team’s meeting with Class 5A, District 7 rival River Ridge on Friday night — run the ball and stop Ben Perdomo.
The Sharks (3-3, 2-0) executed it to perfection, gaining 159 yards on the ground and holding Perdomo, the Royal Knights’ standout running back, to 72 yards on 20 carries in a 13-0 victory.
“We felt like they were very similar to Fivay from last week and I think it kind of helped us out,” Wicks said of River Ridge’s offense.
“We had to stop (Perdomo) because, honestly, that’s their offense. … The defense played great and good thing the offense got us enough points.”
Things didn’t start easy for Anclote. Starting running back Willie Barrett was limited after injuring his hand in the first quarter, forcing Trent Crawford to lead the Sharks’ rushing attack.
The senior didn’t disappoint, playing a key role in Anclote’s first scoring drive in the second quarter. His three carries for 52 yards highlighted the drive, capped by a 25-yard pass from quarterback Brandon Vinkler to Shymere Carter to take a 6-0 lead.
“Coach said it from the beginning that we were just going to try to run it down their throat,” said Crawford, who finished with 92 yards on 18 carries. “My job as a running back is just to hit those holes hard and take advantage of it. And that’s what I tried to do today.”
In the second half, Anclote’s defense continued to dominate , forcing the Royal Knights (2-4, 0-2) to turn over the ball on downs twice and punt twice.
After River Ridge went for it on fourth and 16 inside its 5-yard line late in the fourth quarter and failed, the Sharks took advantage, putting away the Royal Knights with a 2-yard rushing touchdown by Barrett on their ensuing drive.
With the victory, Crawford said Anclote has its eye on one thing — the program’s first district championship.
“That’s the big picture,” Crawford said. “That’s what we’re trying to get. It’s just one day, one week and one team at a time.”