NEW PORT RICHEY — In the first meeting between Ridgewood and Sunlake it was apparent preseason rust still needed shaking off. Amid a combined four interceptions and six fumbles Friday, Sunlake earned a 27-17 exhibition victory.
"Good thing this was a practice game because we have some corrections to make," Ridgewood coach Chris Taylor said. "We didn't make plays. We had four or five opportunities to make some big plays that would have changed the outcome of the ball game, but we dropped some passes, fumbled the ball on some big plays and we gave up big plays."
The junior varsity squads played the first quarter and Ridgewood was left with the ball at midfield looking at a 7-0 deficit. The Rams promptly kicked it away and the Seahawks began chipping away despite miscues, specifically one interception and four fumbles.
"You can chalk that up to some good defense and offensively, we will eventually mesh," Sunlake coach Bill Browning said. "We really only have three returners on offense. We have a lot of new guys and four of them are sophomores."
Seahawks quarterback Jacob Jackson went 1-for-7 for 9 yards with one interception. The running backs produced most of the offense, combining for 134 yards and all three varsity touchdowns. Rashaud Daniels, Jackson and Alex Rodriguez scored for Sunlake.
Ridgewood quarterback Scott Kujak struggled, completing one pass for 47 yards and one for 5 yards, then missed his target eight times the remainder of the game, which included two interceptions.