Home Local Sports JV Raiders end season with loss to Scotland

JV Raiders end season with loss to Scotland

Freshman Chance Crowder (6) makes a fourth-down stop during Richmond's final JV football game. (Kyle Pillar, sports editor)

ROCKINGHAM — A pair of one-possession deficits couldn’t be overcome by the Richmond Senior High School junior varsity football team during its season finale on Thursday.

Hosting Scotland High School in a Sandhills Athletic Conference game, the JV Raiders lost 20-7. 

It was the second straight season Richmond lost to the JV Fighting Scots, and the team closed the season with three straight losses.

The JV Raiders trailed 6-0 at halftime and later cut into the lead 14-7 during the third quarter.

A fast-moving first quarter saw Richmond have just one offensive drive and Scotland was in the middle of its second drive when it ended. 

The JV Raiders stopped the JV Scots on fourth down to force a turnover to open the game. 

But Richmond’s drive ended in a punt — the first of three in the first half by the offense — despite starting at its own 40-yard line. 

The JV Scots (8-1-1, 5-1 SAC) scored the only touchdown of the first half on their next drive. The 67-yard scoring match ended in a five-yard rushing touchdown by running back Samier Pate.

On the two-point try, freshman linebacker Shamir Jones plugged Pate at the one-yard line. Richmond kept its deficit 6-0 with 7:28 left in the first half. 

The JV Raiders’ offense went three-and-out on both of its remaining drives. Sophomore punter Jake Veach pinned Scotland at its 20-yard line on a boomer on the first failed drive. 

Scotland’s other two possessions also resulted in punts. Sophomore linebacker Tate Craven forced quarterback Bryson Powell out of bounds on third down to bring up the first one. 

The JV Scots’ last kick of the second quarter gave Richmond the ball back with one second on the clock. The JV Raiders took a knee to head into the break.

To start the third quarter, Richmond punted again, which led to another Scotland touchdown. This time it was a 54-yard scoring drive.

A pair of long runs by Nasiah McLean moved the sticks and on second-and-goal from the one, Pate rounded the right edge for the score on the ground.

The two-point conversion was good this time by Pate, who ran a similar play to the touchdown. With 4:25 left in the third, Scotland led 14-0.

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The JV Raiders responded with a scoring drive on the ensuing kickoff, which was returned to midfield by freshman Chance Crowder.

On the first play, sophomore quarterback Caden Nolan connected on a 50-yard catch and run to Crowder. Wide open, Crowder turned to catch the ball near the right sideline before running the remaining distance to the end zone.

Veach sent the point-after attempt through the uprights and Richmond trailed 14-7 with 3:45 remaining in the third stanza.

Craven stopped a third-down run on Scotland’s next drive and on fourth-and-sixth, Crowder tackled Pate for a loss to give the JV Raiders the ball back at the Richmond 46-yard line.

But a miscue two plays into the drive resulted in a fumble, which was recovered by RJ Bethea at Richmond 43-yard line.

That turnover resulted in the final score from either team, as Scotland moved the ball across midfield to end the quarter.

On first and second-and-goal from inside the five-yard line, freshman linebacker Tristan Chavis made back-to-back stops on Pate at the one. Craven stuffed Dominic Blue at the same spot on third down.

But Blue converted on fourth-and-goal to score on the rushing play. Jones managed to save two points on the board with his second stop of the game on the two-point try. Scotland’s lead grew to 20-7 with 5:56 to go.

Trying to get within a possession, the JV Raiders’ offense converted a fourth down pass to freshman receiver Juelz Smith to get to Scotland’s 37-yard line. But on the next play, an interception by Donte McCall thwarted Richmond’s momentum.

The turnover came with 2:24 left on the clock, which was run out by the JV Scots’ offense.

Richmond’s junior varsity football team finished the season with a 2-7 overall record, Ryan Mercer’s second as head coach. 

The JV Raiders collected a 2-4 mark against SAC teams, with their two victories coming against Hoke County (14-12) and Southern Lee (41-12) high schools.

The Richmond Observer will publish a photo gallery of Thursday’s season finale soon.

Sports editor’s note: No official stats from Thursday’s game were available at the time of publication.