BENNETTSVILLE — As a final tune-up heading into the new season, the Richmond Raider football team took part in an eight-team jamboree on Friday.
Playing in the annual Dennis Miller Battle of the Border event, the Raiders faced off against Dillon High School.
Held at Marlboro County High School, the Bulldogs also hosted Anson, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Lumberton and Scotland high schools.
Richmond finished the scrimmage on the wrong end of a 13-7 score. The two teams played a pair of 12-minute halves with a short intermission.
Just two days after scrimmaging Terry Sanford High School on their own practice field, the Raiders dressed out like a normal game day, wearing their new white jerseys and green pants.
Friday’s action allowed players to get live preseason snaps in their respective positions, and afforded head coach Bryan Till and his staff the opportunity to assess the team’s performance.
The defense started the scrimmage on the field and played five series, while the Richmond offense played four series.
Dillon scored on its opening drive on a fourth-down run from three yards out. Senior defensive back Emerson Wall made a big stop on third down before the Wildcats took a 6-0 lead.
The Raiders went three-and-out on their first and fourth offensive series. Following the first drive, Dillon milked most of the first-half clock and kept Richmond’s defense on the field.
Another long drive resulted in a short rushing touchdown for the Wildcats, who took a 13-0 lead with 41.2 seconds left in the opening half.
Senior running back Taye Spencer started Richmond’s next drive with a burst for a first down, but the clock expired before the Raiders could get any momentum.
Spencer had two powerful runs to start the second half, but a pair of high snaps and an incomplete pass resulted in a punt.
Rebounding from a slow first half, the Raider defense forced a three-and-out on Dillon’s first drive, and after another punt by Richmond, the defense would find the end zone.
Junior defensive lineman Jacoby Martin scooped up a bad snap and returned the fumble 60 yards down the left sideline to get the Raiders on the board.
Senior kicker Ayden Mabe tacked on the extra point to make it a 13-7 deficit with 1:52 left in the scrimmage.
The Raider offense wouldn’t get another chance to try and score, and in one of the final plays of the game, sophomore linebacker Bobby Little collected a quarterback sack.
The Raiders will officially open their season with a home game against non-conference Mount Tabor High School next Friday. Kickoff against the Spartans is set for 7:30 p.m. at Raider Stadium.
The Richmond Observer will publish a season preview, complete with video interviews, early next week.
Below are photos of Friday’s scrimmage, taken by sports editor Kyle Pillar.