ROCKINGHAM – After last week’s game against Jack Britt High School, in which the junior varsity Raiders football team had four turnovers, Richmond came back this week with a vengeance and forced seven straight mistakes on the Hoke County High School Bucks to roll to a 49-0 victory.
On Richmond’s first possession of the game, sophomore quarterback Noah Altman threw a 45-yard pass to freshman wide receiver Jakolbe Baldwin off a reverse flea-flicker that left Baldwin wide open down the field.
Sophomore running back Tashawn Wall took the ball next and ran it 20 yards to get Richmond to Hoke’s 10-yard line. Two botched snaps later, however, pushed the offense back to the 36-yard line where the Raiders were unable to convert the ball on fourth down.
On the Raiders second possession, Altman scampered for a 46-yard run to get Richmond inside the red zone. Sophomore running back LaCyruss Ellerbe followed up with a 15-yard run to put Richmond on the goal line. Ellerbe then proceeded to pound it in to make the score 6-0; freshman kicker Trevor Moss tacked on the point after.
It was at this point that Richmond’s defense took over.
An overthrown backwards pass by Hoke was picked up by sophomore middle linebacker D’Andre Bethea, who ran in for a score to put Richmond up 14-0 on the first play of the second quarter. A fumble by Hoke County on their next possession at their own goal line was picked up by sophomore defensive lineman Kyjuan Wall, who ran in for another defensive touchdown by the Raiders to make the score 21-0.
Not long after, following a second backwards pass that was overthrown by Hoke to the its running back, was scooped up by freshman linebacker Dayon Bright, who ran to the Hoke 15-yard line. Sophomore running back Azariah Roseboro ran it into the end zone on the next play to put the Raiders up 28-0 with 7:32 to go in the first half.
Things only got worse for the Bucks, as their quarterback threw an Interception on Hoke’s next possession. The pass was picked off by sophomore defensive back Omarion Brown at the Bucks’ 25-yard line. However, the Raiders were not able to put the ball in the end zone after Hoke’s fourth straight turnover, as they turned it over on downs.
The mistakes didn’t end there for the Bucks, as a fumble by Hoke was their fifth straight turnover, and Altman hit sophomore tight end Gavin Russell with a 12-yard touchdown pass to see the Raiders capitalize off the mistake and run the score up to 35-0 going into the half.
Hoke County kicked off to Richmond in the second half, and DJ Stephens responded by taking the kick all the way back into the Bucks end zone. Moss put the extra point through the uprights to put Richmond up 42-0.
Richmond’s defense continued to hound the Bucks when Hoke’s quarterback threw an interception to sophomore defensive back Z’yier Baldwin to make it six straight mistakes for the away team. Following the turnover, a 19 and 16-yard run, respectively, by Roseboro, moved Richmond closer to the end zone, and an 11-yard end-around by freshman wide receiver Tremel Jones put the Raiders up 49-0 with the third quarter winding down.
To keep the theme going, Hoke County fumbled on its next possession, and Richmond scooped it up on the Buck’s 35-yard line. The Raiders continued to pound the ball against Hoke’s defense with runs by Roseboro and back-up quarterback Justin Morman, but Ellerbe fumbled on the run to give Richmond their first and only turnover of the game.
The fumble by Richmond wouldn’t come back to haunt them as Hoke wasn’t able to move the ball forward and turned it over after going three and out. Roseboro, Ellerbe and sophomore Armond Martin would run the clock out in the fourth quarter to leave the Raiders victorious 49-0.
“It’s always a point of emphasis with our guys,” head coach Patrick Hope said about limiting Raider turnovers. “I know with a lot of the read-option stuff that we do, there can be some miscues. Most of the time there is a joint venture between the running back and quarterback, and we worked on that extremely hard this week. I think we did a better job handling it this week even with the weather. I tell our guys if we take care of the ball, we’ll be able to do things like we did tonight.”
Richmond’s ferocious defense kept Hoke County’s running back and quarterback in the backfield and helped cause the seven turnovers on the night for the Bucks. This is something that Hope said his team also worked on this week in order to improve.
“They kind of came out with some stuff that we hadn’t seen, and it was kind of some spread stuff,” said Hope about the Bucks’ offense. “We played with some new bodies tonight, some new guys that might not have played as much, but once they got their legs under them we went on and forced them to do some things they weren’t comfortable with. It was great to see the defense get some turnovers and give us extra possessions. Our defense loves to keep them backed up and keep us on the plus side of the field.”