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Penalties take shine off Wildcats win

Published October 8, 2004

WESLEY CHAPEL - Moments after Thursday's 21-0 defeat of Ridgewood, Wesley Chapel coach John Castelamare took a few seconds to cool down.

Surely he could not have been displeased with his team extending its regular-season win streak to a school-record 15 games - over a team he coached for 12 seasons no less.

And Castelamare had to like the play of the Wildcats' depleted backfield, which racked up 208 rushing yards without two injured starters. Not to mention a defense that had three sacks and two turnovers, and a special teams unit that recovered a fumble by Ridgewood punter Glenn Hnilica for a touchdown.

So, coach, why so irate?

"Ten penalties (for 80 yards)," Castelamare said, shaking his head. "Not a sign of a championship team is it?"

The Wildcats could have been flagged for more than 100 yards, but Ridgewood declined three penalties.

"We're just a little upset," Castelamare said. "We wanted to step up and play much better and we didn't."

Wesley Chapel running backs Nigel Bryant and Zack Carter were sidelined by ankle injuries, but Ridgewood was shorthanded as well. Quarterback Justin Pena and tailback Mike Galizia were out for the third game of four-game suspensions for violating team rules.

Wesley Chapel's replacements fared better than their counterparts with Aaron Dickler, a wing back moved to Bryant's fullback slot in the wing-T, rushing for a game-high 138 yards.

The Melvin brothers, Antonio and Mario, chipped in with 55 rushing yards.

Dickler also ran for two touchdowns, his first capping the game's opening drive. Dickler gained 18 yards on the first play from scrimmage before finishing the 11-play, 76-yard march with a 12-yard run up the middle.

Dickler closed out scoring with a 1-yard plunge in the end zone. He gained 45 yards on six plays on that series, set up when Danny Tolley yanked the ball from Ridgewood running back Bryonell Arline.

Arline was one of three freshmen in the Rams' backfield. His 22 combined yards did not match the other freshmen.

Tailback David Williams rushed for 25 yards and had a 39-yard catch, and quarterback Charley Minichino passed for 44 yards.

Antonio Melvin returned Hnilica's fumble 27 yards for a touchdown to give the Wildcats a 14-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game.

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