This year's rivalry game between the Riverview Rams and the Sarasota Sailors was supposed to be must-see.
Both teams entered with 4-1 records and, this year, the teams are in the same district, giving the game extra stakes on top of local bragging rights. But instead of being must-see, it became something fans have seen for a decade now: A convincing Rams win.
Riverview (5-1) beat Sarasota (4-2) 35-0 on Friday night at the Ram Bowl, the school's 10th straight win in the series. The Rams did it with a stonewalling defense that held the Sailors to less than 100 offensive yards. They also took advantage of nearly every Sarasota mistake, including a botched snap on a punt that set up the Rams on the Sailors' 11 yard line. Rams running back Jay'den Birch ran for one of his three touchdowns a few plays later.
The game hit a running clock in the third quarter after Sarasota failed to convert on a fourth down from its own 25 yard line and, five plays later, Rams quarterback Joe Borchers found wide receiver Johnell Williams in the end zone to make it 35-0. Borchers continued to split time with Will Carter Jr., who threw a touchdown to Charles Lester Jr. earlier in the third quarter.
The Sarasota passing game struggled to find a rhythm. Quarterback Lance Trippel finished the game 9-for-16 for 53 yards.