tampabay.com

Wildcats rebound in second half

By STEVE LEE
Published September 23, 2006


WESLEY CHAPEL - Winless River Ridge stymied Wesley Chapel's high-powered offense, forced two turnovers and contained Mario Melvin in Friday's Sunshine Athletic Conference matchup.

For a half, anyway.

The second half was another story as the Wildcats (3-2, 3-0 in SAC play) exploded for 31 points and forced four turnovers.

And Melvin ran for two touchdowns on consecutive plays a minute and 17 seconds apart. Wesley Chapel's elusive rusher finished with 213 yards in a 41-13 Homecoming win.

"In the first half, River Ridge played hard and we kept making mistakes," Wesley Chapel coach John Castelamare said. "I think (the Wildcats) were disgusted by the way they were playing in the first half."

Trailing 10-3 at the break, River Ridge (0-5, 0-5) pulled within four on Eric Karcinski's second field goal, a 46-yarder. But the Royal Knights would not score again until Eddie Bennett's 53-yard run in the final minute of a fourth quarter that was mostly timed by a running clock.

Melvin capped a six-play, 84-yard drive with a 37-yard touchdown run. On Wesley Chapel's next offensive play, Melvin ran for a 65-yard touchdown.

Michael Alvin then scored on an interception return, giving the Wildcats three touchdowns in a 2:06 span.

Alvin had two of his team's four interceptions of River Ridge's Blake Spinks.