NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge hosted Pasco on Friday night, and it was the Pirates who came away with a fairly easy victory.
Pasco (7-3) broke out the gate with a 61-yard run by Jaquan Clower (nine carries, 82 yards). Pirates quarterback Grant Starling connected with Malik Johns for three touchdowns in the first half for 5, 31 and 44 yards.
River Ridge (3-7) came out strong in the second half, with Creg Bell catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mathieson. The Royal Knights would score again to cut the lead in half on a Brandon Lempfert 35-yard touchdown from Mathieson.
The Pirates would strike back with a Clower 4-yard run, but the Knights pulled closer with a 3-yard run by Chris Schwarz and a Patrick Cook 49-yard fumble recovery to make it 35-30 Pirates.
The Pirates pulled away with touchdown runs of 13 and 21 yards by Johns.
Pasco travels to Citra North Marion next Friday to start the Class 5A postseason.
Pasco 14 14 7 14 — 49
River Ridge 0 0 15 15 — 30
P - Clower 61 run (Coats kick)
P - Johns 5 pass from Starling (Coats kick)
P - Johns 44 pass from Starling (Coats kick)
P - Johns 31 pass from Starling (Coats kick)
RR - Bell 13 pass from Mathieson (Schwarz run)
RR - Lempfert 35 from Mathieson (Garland kick)
P - Clower 4 run (Coats kick)
RR - Schwarz 3 run (Schwarz run)
RR - Cook 49 fumble recovery (Garland kick)
P - Johns 13 run (Coats kick)
P - Johns 21 run (Coats kick)