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Gulf 43, River Ridge 7

Gulf won its first game of the year and put River Ridge in an all-too-familiar position with a 43-7 Sunshine Athletic Conference victory Friday at Des Little Stadium.

Mike Pike, who played for River Ridge last year, led Gulf with 136 yards on 12 carries and scored on a 4-yard touchdown run. Quarterback Julius Mendoza added 146 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, including a 59-yard run.

River Ridge, which dropped to 1-4 overall and in the SAC, got its only score on Nate Shipman's 33-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Shipman had 128 yards on 14 carries, 125 in the first half.

Gulf ground up River Ridge's defense, rushing for 458 yards on 45 carries, just more than 10 yards per rush.

River Ridge had 179 yards on 28 carries. The Royal Knights had just 6 yards rushing after halftime and was 2 for 9 in the air for 11 yards with three interceptions.

Pike opened up the game in the second quarter with a 41-yard run on his first carry, taking the Bucs from second and 17 at their own 27 to the River Ridge 32.

Gulf coach Wilbur Lofton stayed with Pike, who carried the next seven times, ending with his touchdown run.

A pair of interceptions led to two more second-quarter touchdowns for Gulf.

Mendoza intercepted a pass from Shipman with four minutes left in the second quarter. Drew Berman capitalized with a 16-yard touchdown run on the next play to put Gulf up 14-7. Mendoza later scored from a yard out to put the Bucs up 21-7.

Gulf also scored on a 7-yard run by Mike Welch, a 4-yard run by Chris Kaufman, and on a second-half safety.

The Buccaneers had previously scored just 14 points this season, all in a loss to Ridgewood.

River Ridge was coming off its first win in school history, a 6-2 victory over Zephyrhills. River Ridge is 1-14 since 1991.

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