Home Local Sports JV Raiders Football Makes History; Defense Shutouts Scotland 14-0 in SAC Title...

JV Raiders Football Makes History; Defense Shutouts Scotland 14-0 in SAC Title Game

The JV Raiders celebrate their SAC title win over Scotland by dumping the water cooler over head coach Patrick Hope (center).
Photo courtesy of Jimmy McDonald.

ROCKINGHAM – It was the biggest game of the year for the junior varsity Raiders, and they made history Thursday night.

Richmond was able to stay undefeated on the year by defeating the Fighting Scots of Scotland High School 14-0 in a game that featured a lot of defense.

Richmond scored its first and only touchdown of the first half when quarterback Noah Altman rushed in from the goal line to Richmond up by seven after the extra point from kicker Trevor Moss.

After that, it would be a battle in the defensive trenches, as defense and more defense from both teams stunted any scoring from either team until the fourth quarter. But head coach Patrick Hope knew his squad would show up on that side of that ball like they have every other game this year.

“Our defense has been the backbone of the team the entire season,” Hope said. “They are a prideful bunch and didn’t want to give up a thing.”

“I thought their stingy night started when Alex Branch intercepted the pass early. And when the defense tightened up their run fits, we really forced Scotland into passing situations where we could go get them.”

Hope added that his defensive coaches, Justin Jackson, Al Reams and Chris Dennis, did a great job of making adjustments and keeping the defense focused.

Sophomore linebacker Dre Bethea makes a clutch tackle in Thursday night’s 14-0 victory.

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Altman fumbled on the exchange to the running back, which allowed Scotland to pick it up. On the next play, a pass interference call was made on Richmond near the goal line, moving Scotland up to the 27-yard line, but the Raider defense held strong and the Scots were unable to score while using all four downs.

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Scotland’s next possession saw their quarterback get sacked by the Raiders on third down to leave the Scots at fourth and 21 with less than five minutes to go. They faked a punt but were unable to convert, giving Richmond the ball back with 4:21 left in the game. 

It was at this point that Richmond was able to surprise Scotland with a pass play from Altman to Tremel Jones for a touchdown that put the proverbial nail in the coffin.

Tremel Jones reels in a pass from Noah Altman that would prove to be the game’s final scoring play.

“Scotland was an impressive team on defense, and they disrupted our offensive rhythm with three and outs,” Hope noted. “They seemed determined to stop our rushing attack. But we had been setting up the pass to Tremel all night. It was just a matter of everything coming together; the protection, the pass and the catch and run. 

“The first score was set up on a special teams stop where we tackled the punter and forced a fumble,” Hope went on to say. “Noah has been a solid decision-maker all season, and he made a good one keeping the ball on the first score.”

With the win, Richmond ended their season at 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the Sandhills Athletic Conference, becoming the inaugural champions of the SAC-8 in the process. This is something Hope says they’ve been working on since July 31.

“Winning the SAC-8 is a tremendous accomplishment for these guys,” Hope concluded. “To be the first to do anything it always great, but to be the first team to complete an undefeated run is truly special.

“This is a very competitive conference when it comes to football as we had to earn it every week,” he added. “Every single member of the team contributed to this championship, and they all reaped the benefits of a season well-played tonight.”