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Knights shut out Hudson

Led by its rushing attack, River Ridge trounced Hudson 28-0 and picked up some energy for its first postseason playoff berth.

River Ridge (6-2) used the Sunshine Athletic Conference victory as momentum heading into next week's district clash against St. Petersburg Osceola, the Class 4A-8 leader. The Knights remain a game behind Osceola.

Hudson, meanwhile, falls to 2-6 in a homecoming loss.

While its offense rolled up 278 yards _ 172 on the ground _ River Ridge's defense also played well. Hudson was held to 174 yards total offense, intercepted twice, held on fourth down twice and forced to punt four times. The shutout was River Ridge's first this year and second in school history.

"We had to have this game," said Knights coach Scott Schmitz. "We needed momentum heading into next week and this helped. Next week is our Super Bowl."

The Cobras started off strong behind Brian Sullivan's running.Sullivan picked up 50 of his game-high 102 yards rushing on Hudson's first two possessions. The Cobras managed to put the ball on the River Ridge 5-yard line after quarterback Brandon Hall found a wide open Jason Stamer. But two plays later, the drive died when Hall was intercepted in the end zone by John Malacos.

River Ridge wasted little time taking advantage, going 80 yards in five plays, capping the drive with a 40-yard touchdown pass from a scrambling Larry Disparti to wideout Ryan Benjamin.

The Knights' next drive took longer, but ended the same way.

A 7-yard scoring run from Malacos with 4:54 left in the half put the Knights up 14-0 and effectively took the wind out of the Cobras' homecoming sails.