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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
NEW PORT RICHEY- In a sloppy, soggy matchup between two teams attempting to rebound from heartbreaking defeats, Gulf forced River Ridge into an early three-touchdown deficit en route to a 40-0 shellacking of the Royal Knights.
The Buccaneers forced a turnover on each of River Ridge's first three possessions, and by the time the mud had started seeping through the Royal Knights' cleats, Gulf was ahead 19-0.
In three series, River Ridge (0-2) ran six offensive plays.
"When I saw this field, I was thinking every negative thought that can run through your head," said Gulf coach Jay Fulmer. "What if it was us who put the ball on the ground the first two, three series of the game and them getting the ball and having a 20-yard field to play on? It's a whole different game."
Because of the field conditions, Gulf (1-1) elected to kick off both halves, in part to put pressure on the Royal Knights' offense. It worked, as three plays into the game, River Ridge quarterback Blake Spinks fumbled the snap. Buccaneer senior linebacker Tim Longnecker recovered at River Ridge's 37. Five plays later, former Royal Knight Joe Turnbull ran 22 yards for a touchdown.
With his team consistently playing a short field, Turnbull rushed for a game-high 57 yards on seven carries.
On River Ridge's ensuing possession, it was more of the same, as tailback Shawn Ford lost the ball on the Knights' second play. Gulf's Alton Voss recovered as the Bucs took over at River Ridge's 32. Six plays later, on a fourth-and-9, Voss found Shawn Williamson for a 17-yard touchdown.
Voss, who didn't attempt a pass in the second half, finished 7-for-7 with 90 yards and three touchdowns. Williamson caught three passes for a game-high 51 yards.