NEW PORT RICHEY — Hernando (2-3, 0-2) traveled to James Valentine Stadium to meet fellow Class 6A, District 6 contender River Ridge (1-3, 0-2) on Friday in a matchup that turned out uneven on both sides of the ball. The overwhelming defense and superior ground game of the Leopards led Hernando to a 35-0 victory.
River Ridge struggled offensively the entire game. The Royal Knights were unable to attain positive yards from scrimmage until the beginning of the second quarter. River Ridge had only gained 80 yards going into the fourth quarter.
The Hernando defense was anchored by standout senior linebacker Darren Hambrick.
"Up front we dominated, linebackers did what they were supposed to do, we executed on our assignments, and we just came out on a shutout win," Hambrick said.
The Leopards' dual threat of senior Tyrail Hawkins and junior Ra'shaad Hart accounted for the majority of Hernando's offensive yards. Both shared time at quarterback and running back.
Hawkins went 3-for-3 for 33 passing yards and had 123 rushing yards on eight attempts. He finished with two passing touchdowns and one rushing. Hart went 2-for-5 for 19 yards and had 108 rushing yards on six attempts. He got into the end zone one time for a 7-yard rushing touchdown.