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Charger scores five TDs in dismantling of Eagles

By CHARLES CARDWELL

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 1, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- It could have been a highlight tape for Shorecrest's Jeff Ritch.

He totaled five touchdowns on what was just the tip of the iceberg for the Chargers as they defeated Indian Rocks Christian 41-7.

About the only thing Shorecrest did differently than IRC was score. Both teams relied heavily on the run as they completed two passes each.

Mike Wine tried to keep IRC in the game as he ran for 175 yards and a touchdown.

However, it was Ritch's game to shine.

He scored his five touchdowns on five consecutive touches of the ball spanning the second and third quarters.

The first came when Ritch ran 4 yards for a score. The second came when he received a punt and ran 60 yards, breaking four tackles on his way to the end zone. Two minutes later, he ran 14 yards for a touchdown. Jeff Malley threw a 48-yard pass to Ritch for the next score. And his fifth touchdown came in the third quarter, when he ran 55 yards.

Shorecrest's defense was the difference as it forced IRC to punt four times and had two interceptions, including Zach Wendkos' at the 1-yard line with less than a minute to go in the second quarter. The Charger defense also forced two fumbles, recovering both.

Shorecrest relied on big plays as three of its touchdowns came on plays of 48 yards or more. "We're kind of young. We only have four seniors," Shorecrest coach Phil Hayford said.

"But they give us great leadership. I just think it's a great team."

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