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The Bucs get a shutout over Ridgewood, but they face a do-or-die game next week against Pasco.
By JOHN C. COTEY
Published October 7, 2006
NEW PORT RICHEY - Gulf coach Jay Fulmer shook his head like a man who had lost. In fact, his Bucs had won, but with the biggest game in recent school history looming next week, Fulmer did not get the springboard performance he was looking for.
The 21-0 victory over Ridgewood on Friday night will do, however, until Pasco comes to town next week in a do-or-die game for the Bucs postseason hopes.
"I hate to talk about that; it's like putting the monkey on our back," Fulmer said. "If we win next week we're in good shape. If we lose it's over."
Hence, Fulmer's less than ecstatic reaction to his team's victory over the Rams.
Gulf got touchdown passes of 63 and 26 yards in the first half from Alton Voss to Shawn Williamson, and Voss added a 29-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to help make up for a handful of 3-and-outs and three lost fumbles, two in Rams territory.
"We just can't explode," Fulmer said. "I'm just waiting for that explosion."
But it was the defense that pulled the Bucs through, a week after Zephyrhills rallied to hand them a loss in the district opener.
They held the county's leading rusher, Byronell Arline, to 5 yards on five carries before sending the big running back to the sideline for good with bruised ribs after just one series.
For the game, the Rams could only muster 36 yards on 39 carries, compared with the 218 yards Gulf rushed for behind a 95-yard effort from Julian Ford.
With just 22 passing yards, it was Ridgewood's worst offensive night of the season, as its offensive line was manhandled by the Bucs.
Kyle Coluzzi 3.5 sacks, Jesse Jecusco (2 sacks) and Voss (one sack, one interception) hounded Rams starter Charlie Menechino.
"They're pretty good," Fulmer said. "Our defense has been the catalyst of the team all season."
The Rams have lost two straight to drop to 4-3.
Coach Chris Taylor said Arline will visit a doctor today to find out if his ribs are cracked. The junior did not return to the sideline after halftime.
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