Home Local Sports Raiders earn homecoming victory over Southern Lee for first win

Raiders earn homecoming victory over Southern Lee for first win

Sophomore quarterback Domonic Tillman completed 4-of-9 pass attempts for 48 yards and rushed for 23 yards on five carries and two touchdowns. (Deon Cranford/The Richmond Observer)

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior High varsity football team broke into the win column on Friday evening with a 55-33 homecoming victory over Southern Lee in the Sandhills Athletic Conference opener.

The Raiders put on an impressive performance in front of a large home crowd, which came out not only to support the team but also to enjoy the homecoming festivities.

After starting the season 0-4 against one of the toughest non-conference slates in the state, Richmond earned its first win at just the right time as conference play kicked off.

The win against Southern Lee was a team effort.  The offense showed improvement, scoring touchdowns through a well-executed passing play and powerful runs. 

Punter Billy West helped to keep the Cavaliers pinned back and the Raiders benefited from several long kickoff returns giving Richmond a huge advantage in the field position game. 

The defense stepped up as well, consistently putting pressure on the Cavalier quarterback, recording several tackles-for-loss, and even scoring a touchdown in the third quarter.

Friday night began much like the previous four weeks had — Southern Lee took the opening kickoff and drove 66 yards on five plays ending in a 13-yard touchdown run by Mike Blanks just under a minute and-a-half into the game. The PAT was true and the Cavaliers had an early 7-0 lead.

On the next possession, Richmond coughed up the ball at its own 44-yard line giving the Cavaliers great field possession.  The Raiders dropped Southern Lee quarterback Robbie Sims for a 12-yard loss on first down following the turnover. 

On the very next play, Cavalier running back Tyrice Douglas took a handoff from Sims, bounced to the outside and sprinted 56-yards to pay dirt. The PAT was blocked, but Southern Lee had a 13-0 advantage with 8:46 remaining in the first quarter.

Richmond’s Jayden Hamilton shifted the momentum on the ensuing kickoff when the sophomore returned the ball 65 yards to the Southern Lee 30-yard line.  A four-play drive capped by an 8-yard touchdown run by Jaliel Green got the Raiders onto the board.  West connected on the point-after and Richmond trailed 13-7 with 6:56 on the clock.

Both teams went three-and-out on their next possession with Southern Lee failing to move the chains on back-to-back tries.  After a short Southern Lee punt put Richmond in business at the Cavalier 40-yard line, the Raiders wasted no time knotting the game back up. 

Green, who finished the evening with 138 yards on 16 carries, scored his second touchdown on a 7-yard run to cap a five-play drive.  The snap on the PAT attempt was mishandled, but the Raiders tied the game at 13-13 with 11:53 on the second quarter clock.

Two possessions later, the Raiders took over at the Southern Lee 27-yard line following another short punt.  Passes of 14 and 7 yards to senior wide receiver Javian Drake, along with a three-yard run by junior Jordan Bostick, put the Raiders in business at the 3-yard line. 

From there, sophomore quarterback Domonic Tillman punched it in to give Richmond its first led of the game with 4:20 remaining until the break. West’s point after attempt was good and the Raiders led 20-13, taking the 7-point advantage into the locker room.

Following the break, Richmond picked up right where it left off.  After a long Keonta Pegues kickoff return put Richmond at the Southern Lee 41-yard line, it only took Richmond three plays to reach pay dirt. 


Green picked up 28 yards on the first two carries of the drive, but this time, it was Hamilton who crossed the goal line on a 13-yard scoring run. West’s kick was once again true and Richmond extended its lead to 27-13 exactly one minute into the third quarter.

Moments later, sophomore linebacker Terande Spencer, who recorded two first-half sacks, started the third quarter by pouncing on the ball following a Cavalier fumble to give the ball back to the Raiders at the Southern Lee 16-yard line. 

Facing 4th-and-4 from the 10-yard line, Tillman weaved his way through the trenches, passing the line-to-gain and taking it all the way to the house for six more points.  West added another PAT and the Raiders were in control at 34-13 with 8:34 on the third-quarter clock.

Things went from bad to worse for the visiting Cavaliers.  On Southern Lee’s first play of the following possession, Sims mishandled the snap causing the ball to fall to the ground.  After being kicked around, the ball wound up in the end zone where it was scooped up by Richmond’s K’Mauri Morgan for another quick score.

Less than four minutes into the second half and Richmond had already scored three third-quarter touchdowns putting the Raiders ahead 41-13 with 8:20 on the clock.

Miscues continued to haunt the Cavaliers.  On its next possession, a Southern Lee punt attempt was mishandled setting up the Raiders on the Southern Lee side of the field once again – this time at the 30-yard line.  After a 10-yard pass from Tillman to Drake moved the ball to the 20-yard line, Bostick carried it in from there increasing the lead to 48-13 with 5:25 left in the third quarter.

After giving up 48-straight points, Southern Lee used a 10-play, 76-yard drive capped by a 7-yard touchdown run by Mike Blanks to get back on the board.  The point after attempt was blocked and with 2:15 still left in the third quarter, Richmond’s advantage was cut slightly to 48-19.

At this point, the two teams had combined to score five third-quarter touchdowns and there was nearly a sixth.  On the ensuing kickoff, Pegues returned the ball 29 yards to the Raider 40-yard line.  Back-to-back runs of 8 and 17 yards by Green combined with a 9-yard run from Evan Hodges, who had taken over quarterback duties from Tillman, put the Raiders at the Southern Lee 27-yard line as the third quarter came to an end.

On the first play of the final stanza, Hodges hit Drake in stride who sprinted to the end zone.  Drake’s touchdown combined with West’s point after accounted for the final points of the game for the Raiders. 

With Richmond comfortably ahead 55-19 just five seconds into the fourth quarter, the coaches continued subbing in players giving many Raiders some precious playing time in front of the homecoming crowd.

Southern Lee scored twice during the fourth quarter to make the score appear a little more respectable.

Tillman completed 4-of-9 pass attempts for 48 yards and rushed for 23 yards on five carries and two touchdowns.  Hamilton had 3 carries for 20 yards and a touchdown and Bostick added 33 yards on 5 carries and a score.  Drake was the leading receiver for the Raiders with 4 catches for 58 yards and a touchdown.

With the win, the Raiders improve to 1-0 in the SAC and 1-4 overall.  The Cavaliers fall to 0-1 in the conference and 3-2 overall.

Richmond’s schedule doesn’t get any easier as it will play host to Pinecrest (4-0, 1-0 SAC) next week.  Southern Lee will host Scotland (5-0, 1-0) a 36-13 winner over Hoke (2-3, 0-1).  Also in conference play, Union Pines shocked Lee County 40-33 in overtime.  

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