Thursday, 11 October 2018 11:15

Raider JV football rolls to 25th straight win, rush past Hoke County 34-12

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Jaron Coleman had two rushing touchdowns in Wednesday's win against Hoke County. Jaron Coleman had two rushing touchdowns in Wednesday's win against Hoke County. Photo courtesy of Deon Cranford.

RAEFORD – “It’s not about how you start, but about how you finish.”  A variation of that quote has been used by the athletes and coaches of many different sports all over the world.  While the quote may have a strong sense of truth to it, it has not been the motto for the Richmond Senior High School junior varsity football team lately. 

For the second week in a row, the Raiders scored on their first play from scrimmage and never looked back en route to a 34-12 drubbing of the Bucks of Hoke County High School

With Hurricane Michael making its trek up the east coast, the JV game at Hoke County was moved up to Wednesday evening.  The only things that seemed to move faster than Michael’s winds were the legs of Richmond’s Tremel Jones.  Jones took a handoff from Kellan Hood on the game’s opening play and sprinted 67-yards for six early points.  The reliable Mack West was good on his point after kick and the Raiders led 7-0 just seconds into the game.

After forcing the Bucks to punt, Richmond put together a nine-play, 48-yard drive that ate over five minutes of the first quarter, but the Raiders came up empty when they failed to convert a 4th-and-2 at the Bucks’ 16-yard line.  Richmond’s stingy defense forced the Bucks to a second straight three-and-out, but Hoke County got some new life when Jah’meek Harden muffed the punt allowing the Bucks to take over near midfield.

The Raider defense once again refused to allow Hoke County to move the chains.  The ensuing punt pinned Richmond back on their own nine-yard line.  The 91-yard field seemed to be no problem for the Raider offense.  They completed the journey in just seven plays (five rushes, two passes), which ended on a 12-yard touchdown run by Jaron Coleman with just 3:35 remaining in the first half.  West once again booted the ball through the uprights, and the Raiders carried that 14-0 advantage into intermission.

Midway through the third quarter, the Raiders gifted the Bucks with phenomenal field position.  Back-to-back penalties pushed Richmond’s offense back to inside their own 10-yard line.  On a 2nd-and-20 play, the Raiders coughed up the ball which was recovered by the Bucks just six yards away from pay dirt.  Hoke County made the Raiders pay for the error, scoring in just one play, and cutting the Raider lead to 14-6.

Richmond answered on their next possession with a 60-yard scoring drive.  The Raiders received a free 15 yards after Hoke County was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.  Following the penalty, Hood kept the ball himself and pushed forward for a five-yard gain.  Coleman picked up the remaining 40 yards on the ground with runs of four, 14, and four yards, finishing with an 18-yard dash to the goal line.  Coleman’s second touchdown of the game combined with another West PAT once again put the Raiders ahead by two scores at 21-6.

The Bucks (2-4, 0-3 SAC) would not go away.  They responded with an impressive six-play, 96-yard drive, but failed to once again convert a two-point conversion attempt keeping Richmond two possessions ahead at 21-12.  From there, it was all Raiders.  Richmond distanced themselves in the fourth quarter with two more touchdowns – a 2-yard run by Hood and a 25-yard fumble return by Kaleel Brown.

After it rained all day on the field at Hoke County’s Raz Autry Stadium, it’s no surprise that most of the noteworthy numbers were in the rushing stats.  Coleman finished the night with 124 yards on 11 carries and two touchdowns.  Hood carried the ball five times for 26 yards and a score. 

Jones’ game opening touchdown accounted for all of his 67 rushing yards on his only carry of the game.  Daveion Campbell also added 52 yards on just five carries including a 26-yard run in the Raiders’ lone scoring drive in the fourth quarter.

The defense was highlighted by two big turnovers – Brown’s fumble return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter and an interception by Blake Taylor.  Taylor picked off a pass at the Richmond 18-yardline to end a Buck threat early in the second half. 

With the win, the JV Raiders improved to 6-0 on the season and 3-0 in Sandhills Athletic Conference play.  Richmond will host Lumberton at Raider Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 18.