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High-powered Gators test their scoreboard

Turnovers doom Ridgewood as Land O'Lakes has its highest scoring game of the season, 49-19.

STEVE LEE
Published October 30, 2004

LAND O'LAKES - Playoff-bound Land O'Lakes had its highest scoring game of the season and evened its record Friday in its district finale.

The Gators, who already had clinched their third straight district title, defeated Class 4A, District 7 rival Ridgewood 49-19 for their most productive offensive showing since a 60-10 win over Springstead in the third game of the 2002 season.

Land O'Lakes (4-4, 3-0) travels to Hudson Friday to close out the regular season against a rejuvenated team that has scored 40 or more five times.

"We just want to continue to improve and play well into the playoffs," Gators coach John Benedetto said.

Quarterback Joe Weatherford, a Land O'Lakes sophomore in his first year as a starter, continued his seasonlong improvement by passing for 158 yards and three touchdowns. Caz Piurowski had two 14-yard scoring catches, and Develin Robinson had one of 69 yards.

Rams freshman quarterback Charley Minichino had his most productive game, throwing for 132 yards and two touchdowns. But his inexperience showed with three interceptions. Minichino's favorite receiver was Chris Daus, who caught four passes for a game-high 84 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown. Minichino also threw a 26-yard score to Justin Pena.

Land O'Lakes built a 21-0 lead on scoring runs by Scott Mays and Grant Arriri and a Piurowski touchdown before Ridgewood (1-7, 0-3) scored on Mike Galizia's 94-yard kickoff return.

Four second-half turnovers doomed Ridgewood's comeback hopes. Land O'Lakes' Roy Claggett recovered a fumble, and Spencer Robinson, Alex Gorgen and Develin Robinson had interceptions. Robinson ran his back 56 yards to score with 26 seconds left in the game.

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