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Football: Sunlake 22, Ridgewood 0

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Fri. September 27, 2013 | Samuel Henninger

NEW PORT RICHEY — Coming off a close loss to district foe Springstead,  Sunlake   bounced back  to get a hard-fought 22-0 win against  Ridgewood on Friday .

The Seahawks  capitalized on an impressive ground game to maintain lengthy drives and keep the ball out of the hands of the  Rams’ offense. Sunlake’s special teams had a major impact on the game by consistently putting Ridgewood (0-5, 0-1) deep in  its territory.

“It was hard fought by both schools,” Sunlake coach Bill Browning said. “We bent a little bit on defense but didn’t break, and I thought we moved the ball effectively on offense.”

Although they remained winless after Friday’s loss, the  Rams proved  they are  better than their record . The  Rams’ defense held Sunlake  to only  six first-half points .

Offensively, Ridgewood was able to move the ball for  more than 200 yards against a Seahawks defense  has two shutouts this season .

Junior running back Nathan Johnson  put the game away for the Seahawks (4-1, 0-1) after breaking several tackles in the third quarter on  a 31-yard touchdown run. He finished with 157 rushing yards on 21 carries and two rushing touchdowns.

“I feel pretty good about this win,” Johnson said. “We executed when we had to.”

The Rams had a poor start to the second half after the Seahawks  forced them into a safety.

A fake punt by senior Jerry Opalka revitalized the Rams late in the third quarter, but the drive ended in a failed fourth-down conversion  at Sunlake’s 10-yard line.

Ridgewood sophomore running back Glass Wilson had  14 carries  for 106 yards.

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