NEW PORT RICHEY — River Ridge overcame a sluggish start to post a 21-7 win against Gulf on Friday night at the Jim Valentine Athletic complex.
In the first half, both teams flexed their defensive muscle, but it was Gulf that appeared to be controlling the line of scrimmage.
The Buccaneers entered the River Ridge red zone three times, but they had nothing to show for it, as penalties at crucial times backed them up.
In the second half, the Royal Knights running game took over, led by Ben Perdomo.
River Ridge went 80 yards on six plays, as Perdomo scored from 24 yards out.
Perdomo scored again in the third after a Trevor Duke interception, and River Ridge led 14-0.
Perdomo finished with 148 yards on 30 carries.
Later in the third quarter, River Ridge blocked a Gulf punt, and it was recovered in the end zone to give the Knights a 21-0 lead.
Avery Welch capped a 65-yard drive for the Bucs, scoring from 18 yards out to cut the lead to 21-7.
Gulf would threaten again to make it a one-score game, but the Royal Knight defense stiffened, and River Ridge got its first district win.
Gulf 0 0 0 7 — 7
River Ridge 0 0 21 0 — 21
R — Perdomo 24 run (Schwarz kick)
R — Perdomo 2 run (Schwarz kick)
R — Lempfert recovered block punt in end zone (Schwarz kick)
G — Welch 18 run (O’Donnell kick)