NEW PORT RICHEY — On a night when the winless Royal Knights seemed ready to upset Ridgewood, they were a trick play from pulling off what would have been one of the biggest shockers of the season.
But the Rams slipped out of Rams Booster Stadium with a 16-7 victory, leaving a snake-bitten River Ridge left to think about what could have been a first win.
"That is the best (River Ridge) team I have seen come out and play the last four years," Ridgewood coach Chris Taylor said. "We played well at times but we have to shore up some things for the games we've got coming up.
"River Ridge gave us everything they had tonight."
River Ridge outgained Ridgewood 105-89 in total yards in the first half and Rams backup quarterback Scott Kujak could not find his touch, going 0-of-3 in the half.
River Ridge (0-5,0-2) scored on its first possession, driving 61 yards on 11 plays ending with Kenny Toce's pass to Shane Allen for the 7-0 advantage.
But Ridgewood (3-2,1-1) opened the second half with a 69-yard kickoff return by sophomore Austin Jackson.
Kujak completed 5 of 6 passes for 61 yards in the second half, including a 6-yard score to give Ridgewood its first touchdown.
The Royal Knights trailed 13-7 late in the third quarter and coach Tim Stevens called for a reverse trick play that left even Taylor puzzled. Running back Mario Stewart's pass hung up too long for receiver Zack Ford.
"It was a play we haven't run this season and I just threw it in there," Stevens said. "These kids have given me all they got this season and I couldn't ask for any more."