Home Local Sports Raiders JV Football Follows Up Week One Upset; Demolishes Pine Forest 34-6

Raiders JV Football Follows Up Week One Upset; Demolishes Pine Forest 34-6

Freshman running back CJ Tillman surges ahead for the opening touchdown Thursday following a muffed Pine Forest punt.
Photo courtesy of Jimmy McDonald.

ROCKINGHAM – As Friday night lights generally dominate the talk around Richmond County during the fall, it should be noted that the Richmond Senior High School junior varsity football team is off to an impressive start to the 2017 season.

Hosting Pine Forest High School at Raiders Stadium Thursday night in its home opener, Richmond rolled over their non-conference opponent 34-6.

Improving to 2-0 on the year behind a first-half offensive explosion that left the Trojans (0-1) reeling to find their rhythm, the Raiders kept the pressure on, never allowing Pine Forest the chance to make the score close.

Earning all of their points in the first half, the Raiders got the scoring started on special teams following a botched Pine Forest punt. Freshman defensive back CJ Tillman recovered the punt and raced to the end zone to give Richmond a first-quarter 6-0 lead. Freshman placekicker Trevor Moss split the uprights to tack on the extra point.

“Tonight’s win was a great effort by everyone involved,” junior varsity head coach Patrick Hope said. “We came out ready to play in the first half, and our guys made the plays necessary to win. We dominated on both sides of the ball, and I’m pleased with our effort.”

Implementing a strong rushing attack, the Raiders’ offense put their foot on the gas and refused to ease up. In front of a trio of running backs, Richmond’s offensive line provided secure running room, allowing the ground game to flourish. Tillman, along with sophomore running backs LaCyruss Ellerbe and Tashawn Wall, each picked up one rushing touchdown.

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Sophomore quarterback Noah Altman also found a hole in the Pine Forest defensive line, and rushed for a touchdown of his own.

Richmond won the turnover battle as well, with sophomore defensive lineman Javier Staton collecting a loose football for a fumble recovery. The Raiders defense also played well in the secondary, and was rewarded with sophomore defensive back Vraj Patel’s interception.

The lone Pine Forest touchdown on the night, which came on a passing play, was scored at the 9:12 mark of the fourth quarter.

The Raiders’ victory Thursday night comes a week after opening its season on the road against a daunting Wake Forest High School squad. In dramatic overtime fashion, Richmond defeated the Cougars 23-22 on a touchdown and Moss extra point. It was the first loss Wake Forest had suffered since Oct. 3, 2013, against Millbrook High School.

Hope and his staff are an instrumental part of helping develop future Richmond varsity players. The quick 2-0 start has benefitted his players’ growth and knowledge of the game.

The Raiders JV team will hit the road next Thursday, Sept. 7, for their last non-conference contest of the year. Traveling to David W. Butler High School, a part of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, Richmond will serve as the Bulldogs’ first competition of the year. Kickoff 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.