LAND O'LAKES — With fierce winds blowing the entire game, Sunlake (5-2, 3-2) was able to take advantage of an outstanding ground game to beat River Ridge (2-5, 1-4) 35-9.
On the third offensive play, Seahawk senior leader Eddie Burgos needed to be helped off the field after sustaining an ankle injury. The next play resulted in a safety after a snap got over the punter and ended up in the back of the end zone. River Ridge went up 2-0.
Led by senior linebacker Brogan Ronske, the Sunlake defense made key stops throughout the first half to give its offense the ability to take the lead. Burgos returned at defensive back and made several key tackles and returned an interception for a touchdown.
Sunlake senior quarterback Josh Zifer went 7-for-11 for 78 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed for 206 yards and a score on 16 attempts.
"I just want to congratulate the coaches and the team. We came out and played hard. We did what we had to do to keep our playoff hopes alive," Zifer said.
The Royal Knights got another consistent game from senior quarterback Josh Maisel, who earned 107 total yards and scored his team's only touchdown on a 20-yard run.