River Ridge feeling better after last week’s win

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Fri. September 25, 2009 | Keith Niebuhr

NEW PORT RICHEY -- River Ridge football coach Tim Stevens still isn’t thrilled with the way his team is playing, but he is certain of one thing: Last week’s 41-6 win over Anclote was a step in the right direction.

“We had to have something positive going into this week,” Stevens said.

Tonight, the Royal Knights (1-2) play host to Tarpon Springs, which likely will be the best team they’ve faced. For River Ridge to have any chance, it must limit its turnovers, which was a major problem in early defeats to Mitchell (31-13) and Gulf (43-22).

In those two games, they lost a combined six fumbles.

Against Anclote, River Ridge didn’t lose any.

Of course, there’s a significant difference between Anclote, a first-year program, and Tarpon Springs, which is 2-1.

“A game like last week’s is kind of like a no-win situation,” Stevens said. “You’re supposed to win. The pressure’s on you. If you don’t play well, struggle, barely win, or God forbid lose, you’d pretty much get laughed out of the county. Coaches don’t like games like that. I’d rather play when I’m the underdog, when there’s nothing to lose.”

Tonight, he gets his wish.

By the way, it may seem like Stevens was taking a shot at Anclote, but that was not the case. He was simply implying that because the youthful Sharks are new to the scene, they’re expected to take their lumps this fall. Truth be known, he actually is impressed with Anclote.

“They look pretty good on film,” Stevens said. “They’ve got plenty of talent. They’re just young.”

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