Saturday, 27 November 2021 17:08

Conference-high 14 Raiders selected to All-SAC team; Hood, Till earn top honors

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Jaleak Gates (1), J.D. Lampley (55), Jacoby Martin (94) and Emerson Wall (23) were four of 14 Raiders named to the 2021 All-SAC football team. Jaleak Gates (1), J.D. Lampley (55), Jacoby Martin (94) and Emerson Wall (23) were four of 14 Raiders named to the 2021 All-SAC football team. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

 

ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond Senior High School football program had a conference-best 14 players named to the 2021 3A/4A All-Sandhills Athletic Conference team.


It’s the fifth season in a row under head coach Bryan Till that the Raiders led the All-SAC team in total number of selections. The 14 players were the second highest number in a single season during Till’s tenure (18, 2018).

Per the SAC’s rules, the 49-player roster was released on Saturday following Scotland High School’s fourth-round exit in the NCHSAA 3A state playoffs, the last conference team in the postseason.

“We had a special year winning the conference championship with some very special players,” Till said. “I am proud of them and each of the guys on this team earned it on the field with respect from the opposing coaches.”

Topping the list was senior quarterback Kellan Hood, who was named the SAC’s “Offensive Player of the Year.” It marked his second overall career selection, and it was the second year in a row Richmond earned the accolade (WR Tremel Jones, 2020). 

“Kellan had an extremely dynamic year and we were very pleased that the other coaches recognized it and honored him with the award,” Till said. “He was very deserving with the numbers he put up.”

Concluding his fifth season with the Raiders, and helping clinch the program’s fourth-straight SAC title, Till was named “Coach of the Year.” It was the second time he’s earned that recognition since he took over the program (2018).

Till tweeted “Congratulations to all of our guys! You have all earned this through your time, hard work, and great play. We are all very proud of you. I was named COY because of you and how hard our entire Staff works. Huge thank you to those men and their families.”

Head coach Bryan Till, addressing his team after a game, was named the SAC’s “Coach of the Year.”

Richmond, which went 10-2 and made it to the second round of the 4A East playoffs, had seven offensive players named, including Hood and senior offensive lineman Braxton Butler, who are both two-time All-SAC picks. 

Earning their first career selections were seniors Jaiden Covington (OL) and Javares Stanback (WR), and juniors Tyson Holloway (OL), Jeffery Linton (OL) and Taye Spencer (RB).

Defensively, the Raiders had seven players chosen, led by two-time All-SAC selections Gabe Altman (LB) and J.D. Lampley (D.L., East Carolina commit).

Seniors Mikey Baldwin (LB), Jaleak Gates (DB) and Kelay Lindsey (DB), junior Emerson Wall (DB) and sophomore Jacoby Martin (DL) were all picked to their first postseason roster.

Till said senior all-purpose player Cason Douglas was chosen as an “honorable mention.”

Kellan Hood, Offensive Player of the Year

Senior quarterback Kellan Hood, shown looking through his progressions in Week 2 against Butler, was tabbed the SAC’s “Offensive Player of the Year.”

Known for his efforts as a dual-threat quarterback, Hood used his throwing arm and legs to earn the top offensive accolade this season. For the second straight season, Hood lined up under center for the Raiders after making the switch from wide receiver.

Through the air, Hood was 110-177 (2nd most completions in the SAC) for 1,548 total passing yards and 129 yards per game (both 3rd SAC). 

His 62.1 completion percentage was second in the conference, Hood was tied for second with 18 passing scores and was first in the SAC in passer rating (110.1).

Running the option, Hood collected 15 rushing scores and 7.0 yards per carry, both second-best in the SAC. His 1,024 rushing yards on 146 carries for 85.3 yards per game were also the third-highest marks this season.

“It was dope to win Offensive Player of the Year and it means a lot,” Hood said. “I knew I was going to need to be big this year through my play and leadership. So, to win this award feels good, but I couldn’t have done any of it without God and my teammates.

“I think I showcased that I have a lot of heart and fight in me,” he added.

Offensive Players: Butler, Covington, Holloway, Linton, Spencer and Stanback

Richmond’s four offensive linemen — Butler (center), Covington (left guard), Holloway (right tackle) and Linton (left tackle) — were the most of any team in the conference named at that position. 

The offensive line helped create space for Richmond’s offense to average 40.5 points and 360.8 offensive yards per game.

The front five’s blocking and pass protection allowed the passing game to collect 1,633 total passing yards (136.1 yards per game) and 2,696 total rushing yards (224.7 yards per game). They also paved the way to 41 rushing touchdowns and 19 passing scores.

Senior Jaiden Covington (blocking No. 88) and junior Jeffery Linton (77) provide protection in the first round of the playoffs.

Junior Tyson Holloway (75) and center Braxton Butler (65) in action against Lee County.

One of four running backs chosen, Spencer ended his first season on varsity with 792 rushing yards on 117 carries (both fourth in the SAC). He crossed into the end zone 10 times and averaged 66 yards per game and 6.8 yards per touch in the rushing attack.

Returning for his senior season, Stanback caught 21 passes for 363 yards and three touchdowns. He averaged 30.3 yards per game and hauled in 17.3 yards per reception, both top 10 numbers in the SAC.

Junior running back Taye Spencer (21) carries the ball in a win over Pinecrest.

Senior wide receiver Javares Stanback makes a diving catch against Southern Lee.

Defensive Players: Altman, Baldwin, Gates, Lampley, Lindsey, Martin and Wall

As two-time All-SAC picks, Altman and Lampley spearheaded a defense that allowed just 18.1 points per game this season. Altman’s 66 tackles (45 solo, 21 assists) were seventh-most in the conference, and Lampley had 57 total tackles (12th in SAC, all solo).

Lampley also led the conference in tackles-for-loss (22.0), quarterback hurries (16) and quarterback sacks (8.0). The future ECU Pirate notched four pass deflections, had three fumble recoveries (one for a score), forced one fumble and blocked one punt.

Senior J.D. Lampley records a sack on Hoke County quarterback Warren Avery during SAC play.

Senior Gabe Altman (6) registers a tackle-for-loss in the closing minutes against Butler.

Altman added 4.0 tackles-for-loss, two interceptions, 1.0 sack and one forced and recovered fumble. Also at linebacker, Baldwin had 43 total tackles (36 solo, 7 assists) and chipped in 6.0 tackles-for-loss.

Baldwin pressured opposing quarterbacks nine times (3rd in SAC), recovered three fumbles (tied for team high) and had 2.0 sacks. Along the line, Martin registered 34 total tackles (32 solo, 2 assists), had 4.0 tackles-for-loss, forced two fumbles and added 1.0 sack.

Senior Mikey Baldwin (19) celebrates after making a play against Butler.

Sophomore defensive lineman Jacoby Martin (94) prepares to rush the quarterback against Southern Lee.

In the secondary, Wall led the Raiders and was tied for 5th in the SAC with 73 total tackles (44 solo, 29 assists). Lindsey’s 55 total tackles (36 solo, 19 assists) were 13th-best in the conference and Gates added 23 total tackles (16 solo, 7 assists).

Wall also had 2.0 tackles-for-loss, along with one each from Lindsey and Gates. With three interceptions, Gates was tied for third in the SAC and added a team-high 11 pass deflections. In the season opener at Mount Tabor, he also scored on a fumble recovery. 

Lindsey had two picks and five pass deflections, and Wall had one interception and knocked away four passes.

Senior Kelay Lindsey (11) returns an interception against Lee County.

Junior Emerson Wall knocks away a pass attempt in a win over rival Scotland.

Senior Jaleak Gates (1) makes a tackle in the first half against Lee County.

Behind Richmond, Pinecrest High School had 10 players named, followed by 9 players each for Scotland and Lee County high schools. 

Other SAC schools to have players named were: Hoke County (5), Southern Lee (1) and Union Pines (1) high schools.

Note: All of the statistics that were used came from MaxPreps.com.

Last modified on Saturday, 27 November 2021 23:03
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.

Submit local sports scores to: kpillar@richmondobserver.com

Twitter: ROSports_