Wednesday, 29 May 2019 22:03

Class of 2019 scores 26 unanswered points to defeat juniors in 13th annual Powder Puff game

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Senior quarterback Chloe Wiggins eludes a defender during the first half of Wednesday's Powder Puff game. Senior quarterback Chloe Wiggins eludes a defender during the first half of Wednesday's Powder Puff game. Evan Hudson — ROSports Intern.

ROCKINGHAM — Raider Stadium and Richmond County football fans got their first taste of gridiron action of the year on Wednesday, as the classes of 2019 and 2020 duked it out in the 13th annual Powder Puff game.

With a large crowd on hand to watch the annual showdown, dozens of Lady Raider students and student-athletes donned quirky nicknames to battle for bragging rights between the soon-to-be graduates and this year’s junior class.

Hosted by the Richmond Senior High School senate, which is made up of senior class members, the game acted as a fundraiser to support the senate’s general fun. For the second straight year, it would be the seniors who walked off victorious, this time by a final score of 26-16.

A season ago, the class of 2018 just edged the class of 2019 by a touchdown, winning 14-7. This year’s affair saw the juniors take an early lead, but a steady comeback by senior quarterback Chloe Wiggins and company saw the yellow-clad seniors score 26 unanswered points to seal the win.

“This event gives the senate the funds to provide us with whatever we need throughout the school year,” senate president Kristian Terry said. “It helps us with a lot of things, all while getting out here to have fun.

“I think everyone enjoys this because we get to goof around at the end of the year while dealing with the stress of finals and trying to graduate,” she added. “There’s a little rivalry when we want there to be, but we’re all friends at the end of the day.”

Both classes brought a lot of fight to the field, playing four 15-minute quarters following a flag football format. Each team started at its own 20-yard line (of an 80-yard field), and had four attempts to reach a first down of 20 yards to extend the drive. If unsuccessful, the drive resulted in a turnover on downs.

It would be the juniors who scored first, thanks to a 60-yard score from Dymond McNeal. A member of the 4x100-meter relay team, McNeal took a shovel pass from quarterback Hailey Miller and raced down the right sideline to the house.

A little trickery on the two-point conversion attempt saw Miller flip the ball to Layne Maultsby, who completed the double-reverse to Maddisyn Diggs, as she reeled around the left edge to make it 8-0 just a minute into the game.

Both teams traded scoreless possessions over the next three drives, as seniors Kylie McDonald and Savannah Lampley each nearly had an interception on back-to-back plays, stunting a driving 2020 team.

On their third possession, the seniors broke into the scoring column on the first play of their drive. Tatyana Little took a handoff from Wiggins and galloped down the left sideline for a 60-yard score as time expired in the first quarter.

Wiggins attempted the two-point conversion, but was stopped two yards short. The juniors led 8-6 after the opening frame.

The juniors threatened to score again late in the first half, but a 10-play drive came up short. Inside the 20-yard line, Miller overthrew Maultsby twice, and Lampley recorded a sack on Miller on a blitz up the middle.

To close out the first half, the senior class put together an eight-play scoring drive that resulted in the first of Wiggins’ team-high two rushing touchdowns. Following two first downs to start the drive, Wiggins connected with Lampley on a 20-yard catch and run over the middle of the field on fourth down to extend the drive.

A play later, Wiggins took a quarterback keeper to her right to run it in untouched from 15 yards out with 23 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The two-point try was no good, and the seniors took a 12-8 lead into the break.

During the intermission, the male cheerleaders from each class provided the crowd with some comedic relief, dancing their way through a halftime routine.

To close out the win, the seniors scored on both of their possessions in the second half. Opening the third quarter was a nine-play drive that resulted in Wiggins rushing into the end zone again, this time from 20 yards on first down.

Lampley caught a 15 yard completion to set up the score, and helped out again by snagging a floater across the middle of the field on the two-point conversion to put the class of 2019 up 20-8.

After a stalled effort by the juniors that went seven plays, senior Jayana Nicholson made an athletic play on second down on the ensuing senior drive.

A pass from Wiggins was tipped along the line, but Nicholson, who’s set to play soccer at Cape Fear Community College in the fall, snatched the ball and ran 50 yards up the middle of the field to score the team’s final touchdown.

The score with 7:37 left in regulation put the seniors on top for good with a commanding 26-8 lead.

Miller and company took over with 4:40 left, and McNeal scored her second rushing touchdown of the game on the fourth play from scrimmage. She took a handoff from Miller and caught the right edge, wheeling around a pair of defenders to score.

Maultsby hauled in a two-point passing play from Miller to cut the deficit to 26-16, but it was too little, too late.

“We knew we were going to win because we’re the better class,” Wiggins joked after the game. “We worked really well as a team of seniors, I had a lot of good blocking by my classmates and Jayana made a nice catch for the touchdown.

“There’s a little bit of a rivalry between us, but it’s all done in good spirits,” she closed.

Last modified on Thursday, 30 May 2019 11:19

Kyle Pillar

Three-time award-winning sports editor. Indiana University of Pennsylvania communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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