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With time on its side, Dunedin gathers win

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 25, 2000


NEW PORT RICHEY -- There was plenty of speed on display as Dunedin took on host River Ridge in Thursday night's preseason Kickoff Classic at the Jim Valentine Athletic Complex.

But there wasn't enough time. The Falcons took a 14-10 lead into the third quarter, and the Royal Knights took possession of the ball at the opposing 40-yard line after a punt with about four minutes left in the quarter.

Then the game was called because of lightning and light rains that blanketed west Pasco County.

"I thought our second team was faster than their second team," Dunedin coach Mark Everett said after the first half. "But I think their first team was more powerful than our first team."

The Royal Knights had driven to the opposing 7-yard line to start the third quarter but turned the ball over on downs. The defense held Dunedin in check, forcing the punt before the game was called.

The defenses of River Ridge and Dunedin dueled in a scoreless first quarter. The Royal Knights' John Gilmore came up with two big back-to-back sacks to drive the Falcons from the 14 to the 39.

But Dunedin's pass rush also put pressure on River Ridge, as Javier Jackson, Brad Rey, Ron South, Karron Riley and Harry Moundros all got in on sacks of the opposing quarterbacks.

The Royal Knights struck first in the second as Gilmore turned in 31 yards rushing on the drive, setting up Andrew Masella's 6-yard touchdown run.

But the Falcons came right back as Eric Triplett cut through the second-string defense for a 60-yard touchdown sprint.

Tied 7-7, Masella answered with a speedy 57-yard jaunt of his own, setting up soccer standout Paul Clapson's first field goal attempt of the season. He nailed a 35-yard field goal to give the lead back to River Ridge 10-7 with 4:06 left in the half.

But Dunedin found another hole in the opposing defense and exploited it on an 80-yard scoring run by quarterback Daniel Daughtry.

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