FAYETTEVILLE – In a game that head coach Patrick Hope knew would be hardfought, the junior varsity Richmond Raiders football team was able to dominate Seventy-First High School Thursday night for another victory to stay undefeated.
Richmond powered past its Sandhills Athletic Conference opponent 44-8.
Richmond was able to jump out on top quickly when sophomore quarterback Noah Altman ran it in from 15 yards out for the Raiders first score on their second possession.
After an interception from sophomore DJ Stephens in the secondary, sophomore running back AJ Roseboro, who Hope has praised as a player filling in for other players who have been called up to the varsity level, scored a 20-yard touchdown. This gave the Raiders a quick 14-0 lead.
With 4:30 left in the second quarter, sophomore running back Tashawn Wall was able to muscle himself in for touchdown score to put the Raiders up for good in the early part of the game.
Complimentary running back LaCyruss Ellerbe would put the Raiders up even bigger with a rushing touchdown with just over 30 seconds left in the first half to put Richmond up 28-0.
“AJ, Tashawn and LaCyruss make a great trio sharing the rushing load,” said Hope.
In the third quarter, Roseboro added another touchdown to his resume when he rushed in for an eight-yard run. The defense got involved in the same quarter when its was able to sack the Falcons’ quarterback for a safety in the end zone.
It was at this point that Seventy-First was able to get on the board with a five-yard run from running back Jamarius Simmons, and even though they were able to convert on the two-point conversion, it was too late.
Wall would later put the final nail in the coffin when he rushed in for an eight-yard score in the fourth quarter on a running clock that put Richmond up 44-8.
According to Hope, the Raiders were able to put up 350 yards of total offense, while holding the Falcons to just 37 total yards all night.
“Our offensive line controlled the whole game, allowing our quarterback and running backs to run with confidence,” Hope said about the unit he predicted would be instrumental in a win earlier in the week.
Behind that line, Hope said that wide receivers Justin Morman, Jokolbe Baldwin, Hakeim Blue, Tremel Jones and ninth-grade call-up Jarod Morrison had receptions and were able to block well for the running game.
“It was good, unselfish play on that side of the ball,” Hope said of his team. “The defense got their bearings after adjusting to their scheme. DJ Stephens has been a great addition to the secondary, intercepting a pass on their second possession. Our preparedness on special teams led to several mishandled snaps and great field position on kickoffs.”
Hope told his team after the win that they have a chance to make history in becoming the first ever JV SAC champions against a rival at home.
“We’re going to approach this week just like the others,” said Hope, ” staying ‘L.I.T.’ (loyal, intense and tough) the entire process. “
The JV Raiders (9-0, 6-0 SAC) will finish up the season at home against rival Scotland at home at 6:30 p.m. next Thursday at Raider Stadium.