NEW PORT RICHEY — Sunlake (2-0) followed up its landmark victory against Pasco last week with a shutout of the Royal Knights, giving up just 27 yards of offense and not allowing River Ridge to get inside the Seahawks 30-yard line.
Junior Nathan Johnson had 19 carries for 128 yards and a touchdown to pace Sunlake’s strong rushing attack.
The passing game, however, is still a work in progress, coach Bill Browning said. Senior Esteban LeWallen started at quarterback but after a turnover on downs on the first series, junior Dayton Feiden came in and led Sunlake to three consecutive touchdown drives, including a 3-yard rushing score of his own. LeWallen moved to defense and had one of the Seahawks’ five sacks. Sunlake led 22-0 at the half.
“I’m waiting for one (quarterback) to separate themselves from the other,” Browning said. “They’re running neck-and-neck. Both will see time. It may be that way through the whole season.”
Junior Austin Yeloushan had two sacks, while Ben Wood had a sack and two tackles for loss. Wanya Lamar had a second-half goal-line interception to thwart River Ridge’s best scoring chance.
Joe-Jean Baptiste blocked a River Ridge punt in the second half.
River Ridge (0-2) has surrendered 13 sacks in its first two games.
Sunlake 8 14 0 3 — 25
River Ridge 0 0 0 0 — 0
S — N. Johnson 2 run (Wood run)
S — R. Williams 12 run (Wilkinson kick)
S — Feiden 3 run (Wilkinson kick)
S — FG Wilkinson 20