ROCKINGHAM – On a night when Raider fans were celebrating the 1997 state championship team, the current Richmond squad was doing some winning of their own when they hosted the Lumberton High School Pirates Friday night.
The Raiders were able to move the ball through the air, as well as the ground, and used special teams and a suffocating defense to bury the Pirates 49-27 on Homecoming night.
Richmond opened up their offensive game by running with Dante Miller and Jaheim Covington, along with quarterback Caleb Hood making some plays of his own. The Raiders first scoring drive would end with a one-yard touchdown run by Covington to put Richmond up 7-0.
On the Raiders next possession, Hood threw an 11-yard pass to wide receiver Dashaun Wallace, which set Miller up on the next play to juke a few times for a 64-yard touchdown. After the extra point was made by kicker Victor Lucero, the Raiders were up 14-0.
Lumberton was able to get on the board on their next turn, however, when quarterback Braylon Grice completed a long pass to Kwashek Breeden to put them on the Raiders’ 33 yard line. After a carry by running back Tyson Alford, the Pirates were in the end zone with wide open pass to Alford to make the game closer at 14-7.
The momentum of the game seemed to switch at this point when Hood threw an interception with a minute left in the first quarter, and the Pirates were able to convert that into a touchdown before the quarter ended.
With the game tied at 14, however, Richmond went back to the ground game and pounded away, but were unable to score on that possession. Lumberton took over on downs on their own two-yard line, but a fumble by Alford was recovered by cornerback Tony McRae on the one to give Richmond the ball back quickly. Hood kept the ball on the next play to put it in for a touchdown and put the Raiders back up 21-14.
Lumberton would again turn the ball over, this time on downs, and Hood proceeded to hit a wide open Kaleb Douglas with a 55-yard touchdown pass that put Richmond up 28-14 going into halftime.
On the Raiders first possession of the second half, wide receiver Malik Stanback took a pass from Hood all the way to the 2-yard line where he lost his balance before getting in. On the next play, Hood fumbled but it was picked up with Wall who ran it in for the touchdown.
Now up 35-14, Richmond wouldn’t look back even with Lumberton scoring on their next possession, because Douglas would take the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown to answer Lumberton’s score.
Going into the fourth quarter up 42-20, each team would tack on an additional touchdown, including another keeper by Hood to make the final score 49-27.
Although Richmond was able to make some big plays of their own, the Raiders were also susceptible to deep passes, and head coach Bryan Till knows that’s something that needs improving.
“We gave up some big passing plays. We really gave up some balls over the top early on,” said Till. “We should be better than that, that we know they’re gonna throw, that we should be in position. We’ve just continue to work on making those plays.”
Hood would end the game 7 of 11 (63.6%) for 175 yard and a touchdown to go along with the interception. He would add another 61 yards on the ground to make his total work 236 yards for the game. Running backs Miller and Covington rushed for 102 yards and 76, respectively.
Through the air, Stanback had 84 receiving yards, and Douglas added another 45 to go along with his touchdown reception.
The Raiders (6-3, 4-1 SAC) will host the Seventy-First High School Falcons next Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Raider Stadium.