Friday, 15 October 2021 16:23

JV Raiders earn 'emotional win' over Lee County in 4th straight victory

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JV Raiders earn 'emotional win' over Lee County in 4th straight victory Contributed photo by Mae Lunceford.

SANFORD — Weathering an early storm on Thursday, the Richmond junior varsity football team rallied to defeat Lee County High School in the second half.

Trailing by as many as 20 points in the first half, the JV Raiders scored five unanswered touchdowns and shut out the JV Yellow Jackets in the second half to earn a 32-20 win.

“A gutsy, emotional win for us,” head coach Patrick Hope said. “The second half shows how much we've matured since August.”

Lee County scored on its first play from scrimmage on a 62-yard run. Following a successful extra-point attempt, Richmond trailed 7-0.

Continuing their fast start, the JV Yellow Jackets built a 20-0 lead in the second quarter. Lee County used a 20-yard rushing score and a 20-yard passing play to get ahead by three possessions.

But sophomore safety Jamison Jones proved to be the turning point for the JV Raiders, who jumped a route on a screen pass to intercept the ball. His turnover led to the first of five unanswered scores by Richmond to end the game.

Before the first half ended, freshman quarterback Dillon Veach connected on the first of his three touchdown passes of the game. He found sophomore wide receiver Linden Garcia for a 38-yard score, and after the PAT was no good, Richmond trailed 20-6 at the intermission.

The only score in the third quarter for Richmond was a 66-yard catch and run touchdown pass from Veach to sophomore wideout Tristian Wall. The PAT was no good, but the JV Raiders trailed by one possession, 20-12.

Richmond turned the pressure on in the fourth quarter, scoring three touchdowns to ice their fourth-straight win. Veach got things going with a 10-yard touchdown run to help the JV Raiders pull within two points.

Garcia and Veach accounted for the eventual game-winning touchdown, a 20-yard passing play. Despite the PAT being no good, Richmond led 24-20.

Freshman K’Mauri Morgan added a defensive score with a 60-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown. Following a successful two-point conversion, Richmond led by 12 points and would hold on for the win.

“The defense pitched a shutout in the last 30 minutes of the game, including a goal line stand,” Hope said. “Dillon (Veach) paced the offense with four total touchdowns, showing maturity and growth at the right time of the season.

“The offensive line played their best overall game tonight,” he added. “They were very impressive with their run blocks and pass protection, keeping Dillon clean.”

Hope noted that sophomore tailback Jaliel Green “had some good runs throughout the night that kept us on schedule.”

The JV Raiders improved to 4-3 on the season and 3-0 in the Sandhills Athletic Conference. Richmond will play at Union Pines on Thursday, Oct. 21, for a makeup game from last week. Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m.

Kyle Pillar

Nine-time N.C. Press Association award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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