NEW PORT RICHEY — Sunlake boasted Pasco County’s stingiest defense coming into Friday night’s game against Ridgewood, giving up less than five points a game.
The Seahawks defense didn’t disappoint against the Rams, pitching a shutout, and the offense woke up in the second half to propel Sunlake to victory.
After forcing Ridgewood into a three-and-out to start the game, Sunlake went 60 yards in eights plays, as Nathan Johnson scored from two yards out to give the Seahawks a 6-0 lead.
Ridgewood’s defense, led by linebackers Jerry Opalka and Josh Sojka, stiffened after that and the Rams held Sunlake to 79 yards of offense in the first half.
Ridgewood moved the ball well on the ground behind Glass Wilson (19 carries, 100 yards), but Sunlake kept the Rams out of the end zone.
In the second half, Johnson and Sunlake’s offensive line took over. The junior tailback seemed to get stronger as the game wore on. He rushed for 114 of his 147 yards in the second half.
Johnson’s 31-yard touchdown in the third quarter gave the Seahawks a 15-0 lead, and Dayton Feiden’s 1-yard touchdown run capped the night’s scoring.
Sunlake 6 0 9 7 — 22
Ridgewood 0 0 0 0 — 0
S – Johnson 2 run (run failed)
S – Safety, Ridgewood tackled in end zone
S – Johnson 31 run (Wilkinson kick)
S – Feiden 1 run (Wilkinson kick)