ROCKINGHAM — Several miscues in the second half of Thursday’s junior varsity football game resulted in another shutout loss for Richmond Senior High School.
Returning to the field for the first time in two weeks following last Thursday’s weather-related cancellation, the JV Raiders were blanked 26-0 by visiting Myers Park High School.
Closing out its non-conference schedule, Richmond allowed a 24-point second half against the JV Mustangs (1-2).
Two weeks ago, the JV Raiders were also held off the scoreboard in a loss to Butler High School.
“We didn’t have great execution, especially in the second half,” head coach Ryan Mercer said. “We allowed a couple of turnovers on special teams tonight and that hurt us.
“There was the safety early on and then we fumbled on a kickoff that put us in a bad spot defensively,” he added. “That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
The Richmond defense showed promise early after the starting kickoff was returned to the JV Raiders’ 10-yard line. Sophomore safety David Oliver forced a ball carrier out of bounds short of the goal line on fourth down.
Unable to move the ball on offense, Richmond was forced to punt on its opening series from its own end zone. A high snap that was mishandled sailed out of the back of the end zone for a safety.
With 5:34 left in the first quarter, Myers Park took a 2-0 lead, which would hold until halftime.
The JV Mustangs missed a field goal and punted twice on their three other first-half possessions, while Richmond punted and lost the ball on a fumble before the break.
Ten points in the third quarter was followed by a pair of touchdowns and extra points for Myers Park in the second half. The JV Mustangs capitalized on all four of their second-half possessions.
A 35-yard field goal made it 5-0 with 3:51 to go in the third. On the ensuing kickoff, Richmond fumbled the ball and Myers Park recovered it at the JV Raiders’ 26-yard line.
Using the short field, the JV Mustangs scored their first touchdown of the game on a seven-yard rushing score. The PAT extended the lead to 12-0 with less than two minutes to go in the third stanza.
Richmond ran just a dozen combined plays on its four second-half drives, which resulted in two punts, a turnover on downs and the clock expiring.
Myers Park added two insurance touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The first was a three-yard pitch to the right, followed by a one-yard plunge up the middle.
The JV Raiders collected 62 yards of total offense, all on the ground, from three players. As a team, Richmond lost -50 yards rushing.
Freshman Chance Crowder had 50 rushing yards on 10 carries, sophomore Lane Cipriani added 29 yards on six touches and freshman Elijah Ingram picked up 25 yards on half a dozen rushes.
Myers Park had 152 yards of total offense (79 passing and 73 rushing).
“We’re going to look at the film and work on the things that need fixed,” Mercer closed. “The guys have to be ready to go on Monday.
“The bright side is conference play is starting next week, so we can still achieve our goal of winning the conference. We just have to fix our mistakes and prepare for Southern Lee.”
With their non-conference schedule finished, the JV Raiders (0-3) will begin Sandhills Athletic Conference play on the road next Thursday.
Richmond will travel to Southern Lee High School with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m.