Home Local Sports JV Raiders shut out by Butler in second game of season

JV Raiders shut out by Butler in second game of season

Sophomore LB Preston Fann (51) had a fumble recovery and sophomore DE Trent Deane (98) recorded a sack in Thursday's loss. (Michelle Parrish/The Richmond Observer)

ROCKINGHAM — All of the scoring during Thursday’s junior varsity football game took place in the first half.

Unfortunately for the JV Raiders, all of the points were scored by David W. Butler High School.

Dropping its second non-conference game in a row to start the season, Richmond was shut out 18-0 by the JV Bulldogs.

“It was another tough game tonight,” head coach Ryan Mercer said. “I’m proud of the response on defense in the second half. 

“Having two running backs go down tonight hurt us offensively, but they continued to fight,” he added. “I have to give credit to Coach (Bryan) Hinson and Coach (Joey) English for keeping them going. Small things ended up getting us again tonight with some turnovers.” 

The JV Bulldogs (1-0) scored on their first three possessions of the game, while Richmond’s first three drives ended in a pair of fumbles and a blocked field goal attempt.

Richmond received the opening kickoff and fumbled the ball on its second play from scrimmage, giving Butler possession at the JV Raiders’ 15-yard line.

Two running plays and a personal foul penalty later, the JV Bulldogs ran it in for a 3-yard touchdown run. The point-after attempt was blocked, giving Butler a 6-0 lead with 8:58 left in the first quarter.

The JV Raiders sustained a 13-play drive after the ensuing kickoff, picking up 58 yards of offense. The longest play of the drive was a 21-yard run by freshman running back Chance Crowder (3 carries, 51 yards).

Getting inside the 10-yard line, a handoff to sophomore running back Lane Cipriani (9 rushes, 25 yards) and a pair of runs by freshman tailback Elijah Ingram (19 touches, 90 yards) set up fourth-and-goal.

Freshman kicker Cole Thrower attempted a 23-yard field goal, but it was blocked. Sophomore Caden Nolan recovered the ball and gave the JV Bulldogs possession at their own 4-yard line.

But Butler, which ran the ball on all 29 of its offensive plays, used gains of 43, 31 and 14 yards to set up another score. This time it was a 15-yard rushing score.

The two-point conversion was no good as sophomore Trent Deane burst into the backfield to record a sack and keep Richmond’s deficit at 12-0 with 9:45 to go in the first half.


Another fumble on Richmond’s second play of its next drive saw the JV Bulldogs recover it and return it to the JV Raiders’ 5-yard line.

A block in the back penalty backed them up to the 30-yard line, but three straight runs that combined for 27 yards put the JV Bulldogs at the 3-yard line. 

One more push led to another rushing touchdown. This time the PAT was no good.

Richmond’s final drive of the first half resulted in 51 yards on 10 plays, but the ground game couldn’t convert on fourth-and-two. That brought the first half to a close.

The second half didn’t yield any points for either team, as the JV Raiders had just two possessions. Drives of 42 and 39 yards, respectively, ended in a turnover on downs.

Richmond did get inside the red zone on its only third-quarter drive, as Ingram ran the ball on seven of 13 plays. Cipriani ran the ball four more times to help get the ball to the Butler 16-yard line.

On fourth down, freshman quarterback B.J. Hinson (3-for-7, 39 yards) tried to connect with sophomore wide receiver Carter Visengard in the end zone but it fell incomplete.

Sophomore linebacker Preston Fann helped thwart Butler’s next drive, a 12-play march that chewed 7:36 off the clock. After a fumble, Fann pounced on the ball at the 29-yard line for Richmond’s only positive turnover of the game.

Getting the ball back with 2:08 to play in regulation, Richmond’s final drive lasted just four plays before the JV Bulldogs took a knee to run out the clock.

Despite running 15 more plays on offense, Richmond racked up 206 yards of total offense (167 rushing, 39 passing) to Butler’s 237 yards of offense (all rushing).

Both teams committed 10 penalties, combining for 144 penalty yards. Richmond’s longest play from scrimmage was a 31-yard pass from Hinson to freshman Juelz Smith.

“I have to give credit to Butler, they played a great game,” Mercer closed. “I told the guys we have to come back Monday ready to prepare for a good Cardinal Gibbons team next week.”

The JV Raiders (0-2) are set to play at Cardinal Gibbons High School next Thursday. Kickoff against the JV Crusaders (2-0) is set for 6 p.m.

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Kyle Pillar is a 16-time North Carolina Press Association award-winning sports editor with The Richmond Observer. Follow the sports department on Twitter @ROSports_ for the best in-depth coverage of Richmond County sports.