NEW PORT RICHEY - Gulf's defense, almost exclusively sophomores, did all it could to put some kind of restraint on rumbling, 230-pound Ridgewood running back Byronell Arline, trying to pull him to the ground, then trying to hit him low.
'If you step in front of him you might as well step on a set of railroad tracks,' Gulf coach Jay Fulmer said.
An actual train might not have fared as well as Arline did Friday night, as he rumbled for 340 yards and seven touchdowns on 25 carries in Ridgewood's 49-34 win against Gulf, continuing to add to his own school records.
'Byronell was the difference,' Fulmer said. 'He was just at a different level and then he took it up to another one and Gulf just couldn't handle it.'
Expectedly, the game was wild with running plays, pitting two of the Bay area's most gifted running backs against each other in Arline and Gulf's David Williams.
Williams ate up his share of the field with 262 yards and four touchdowns on 40 carries.
Arline was able to break a few big runs that Williams didn't have, and his touchdowns of 48 and 50 yards were on the first plays of their respective drives.
'The fans got what they wanted with the Arline and Williams show,' Williams said. 'But we just came up a little short.'
Gulf scored on the first drive of the game, moving 75 yards to set up Williams' 8-yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked.
Ridgewood responded with a 75-yard drive that ended with Arline's 29-yard score, and the extra point made it 7-6.
Gulf punted, then Arline broke out the one-play, 53-yard touchdown drive with 21.1 seconds left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Gulf responded with a 4-yard touchdown from Williams and a 2-point pass from Madison Burr to Cody Kleiner to tie the game at 14 with 7:34 left before the half.
Ridgewood took over and fumbled the ball away on a pass play that Gulf converted into a 4-yard touchdown run from Will Burbidge, giving Gulf the lead 21-14.
But the Rams came back with a 1-yard Arline run to tie again at 21 going into halftime.
The two knotted up again at 28 by the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth, Arline led the Rams to the end zone three more times while Williams got Gulf there once more.
Ridgewood147721-49Gulf61576-34 G-Williams 8 run (kick blocked)
R-Arline 29 run (Koon kick)
R-Arline 53 run (Koon kick)
G-Williams 4 run (Kleiner pass from Burr)
G-Burbidge 4 run (Cohen kick)
R-Arline 1 run (Koon kick)
G-Williams 20 run (Cohen kick)
R-Arline 17 run (Koon kick)
R-Arline 48 run (Koon kick)
R-Arline 50 run (Koon kick)
G-Williams 1 run (kick failed)
R-Arline 19 run (Koon kick)
TEAM STATISTICS Ridge.GulfFirst downs 1521Rushing 30-39958-324Passing 3-4-82-3-65Total yards 407389Interceptions by 00Sacks by 10Fumbles-lost 1-11-1Penalties-yards 5-3511-90