ROCKINGHAM — The Raider Elite youth football program held a preseason jamboree on the practice fields at Richmond Senior High School on Saturday.
Hosting eight other teams from around the state, the Raider Elite had its 8U and 10U teams in action.
Program director and 8U head coach John Carter, who put the event together, said it was a successful preseason competition.
“This was a great turnout and we had some of the best teams in southeast North Carolina here,” Carter said.
“It was a preseason tournament so everybody was getting some work in, seeing what they’ve got and what they need to work on. We had a great family environment today.”
Carter saw his team fall 47-6 to the Fayetteville Primetime Bulldogs in the first game of the day.
The 8U Raiders fell behind 13-0 after the Bulldogs’ first two drives.
But Messiah Yates would help the Raiders get on the board on Richmond’s second drive in the first quarter.
Taking a handoff, Yates curled around the left edge and found open space, sprinting past defenders nearly the length of the field to find the end zone.
The conversion attempt was no good and the 8U Raiders trailed 13-6 after the opening stanza.
“Messiah is eight and we’re really going to need him to have a breakout year this year,” Carter said. “It was a great run from him and I’m really proud of him.”
Fayetteville added two scores in the second frame, one passing and one rushing, to take a 27-6 lead into the break.
A long touchdown run and a fumble recovery for a score by the Bulldogs extended their lead in the third quarter.
In the closing minutes, Primetime added one more rushing score before the clock expired.
“Our 8U team is very young,” Carter explained. “This is their first time and the Bulldogs are one of the best teams in the state. I picked them out to see what we’ve got. I didn’t expect to win the game, but I expected to learn things by playing the best.
“Our boys need to fire off the ball, the o-line needs to block, the d-ends need outside containment and just a little more effort from our kids,” he added. “We’ll progress throughout the year and get better.”
Below are photos of Saturday’s game, taken by sports editor Kyle Pillar.