Sunday, 06 October 2019 18:00

Freshman Raiders cap 4-1 season with road win over Northwood

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ROSports File Photo: Freshman Jamarion Bryant scored a receiving score in Thursday's season finale win. ROSports File Photo: Freshman Jamarion Bryant scored a receiving score in Thursday's season finale win. Kyle Pillar — The Richmond Observer.

PITTSBORO, N.C. — In their regular season finale on the road at Northwood High School on Thursday, the Richmond County Ninth Grade Academy Raiders were looking to rebound from a loss the week prior to Pinecrest High School.

Thanks to a balanced offensive attack, and sound defense down the stretch, Richmond closed its campaign with a 20-15 win over the Chargers.

The Raiders would cap a first-quarter drive thanks to a two-yard rushing score from Taye Spencer. That short push was set up by a big reception from wide receiver Cincere Wall from quarterback Emmanuel Gilliam. Kicker Irwin Campos trotted on the field and added the point after attempt to make it 7-0.

Northwood would cut the deficit to 7-3 with a field goal, but Gilliam and Wall responded again. The pair of Raiders hooked up for a 30-yard passing score in the second quarter, and after a missed extra point, Richmond held a 13-3 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Chargers returned the ball the length of the field to make the halftime score 13-9.

Both teams would play a scoreless third stanza, and it would be the arm of Gilliam that proved to be the difference maker in the final 10 minutes. This time, Gilliam aired one out and hit teammate Jamarion Bryant in stride for a 60-yard pass and catch. Campos redeemed himself with another PAT to extend the lead to two possessions.

Leading 20-9, the Raiders allowed a touchdown with a minute left in the game. But the defense would hold one to preserve the win.

Head coach Taivon Jones noted linebacker Emerson Wall “played lights out on defense for us.” The freshman Raiders finished their season with a 4-1 overall record.

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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