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PORT RICHEY — The Jay Fulmer era at Ridgewood started with wrenched necks as defenders watched Palm Harbor University score again …and again in a 49-13 victory.
By halftime Thursday, the outcome was a forgone conclusion. The Hurricanes were ahead 35-0 and outgained the Rams 255-31.
This is supposed to be a rebuilding year for PHU and second-year coach Matt LePain. After all, the Hurricanes return just two percent of their offense after losing their quarterback, and leading running back and receiver from last season.
The replacements showed they are more than adequate.
PHU first-year quarterback Tyler Kaminski’s only two completions went for touchdowns on a 58-yard pass to Dominic Bonelli and a 35-yarder to Shane Dixon.
Demetri Royer was the Hurricanes’ workhorse in the ground game, rushing for 123 yards and scoring twice in the first half. PHU’s other first-half touchdown came on a 2-yard run by Quentin Cumings.
Still, LePain was not totally satisfied.
“We really were not that crisp,” LePain said.
There were some miscues. Two penalties wiped out a long touchdown run and a big punt return. And Royer fumbled twice in the first half.
“We were okay,” LePain said. “There are some things we can still work on.”
In the second half, the Hurricanes emptied their bench. PHU’s Jonah Fiskaa scored on a 2-yard run and backup quarterback Brevet Killett threw an 81-yard touchdown pass to Bonelli to make it 49-0.
A running clock was used in the fourth quarter because of the mercy rule.
Will Fulmer scored on a long pass and a short run in the fourth quarter to prevent the Rams from being shutout.
The Hurricanes have now outscored Ridgewood a combined 123-20 in the past two preseason meetings.