Thursday, 07 November 2019 22:03

JV Raiders blank Scotland in rivalry game to close season

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Sophomore defensive lineman JaZir Bostick (52) forces one of Richmond's handful of fumbles during Thursday's 20-0 win over Scotland. Sophomore defensive lineman JaZir Bostick (52) forces one of Richmond's handful of fumbles during Thursday's 20-0 win over Scotland. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — Kickstarting the first half of the Richmond-Scotland rivalry were the junior varsity teams on Thursday, and it was the Raiders who came away with a shutout victory on their home field.

The 20-0 win over the Fighting Scots served as Richmond and head coach Patrick Hope’s final game of the year. After a schedule that saw two of their games cancelled due to weather, the JV Raiders finished Hope’s third season 6-2.

“This win shows how far we’ve come as a team and as individual players,” Hope said after the game. “It’s an emotional game, and we knew that coming into it. We had two early turnovers but we settled down and played our game.

“Our guys stuck with it and had to deal with a lot of penalties on both sides of the ball,” he added. “We used our special teams to our advantage and also took advantage of Scotland’s turnovers to take control of the game.”

On Scotland’s opening drive, sophomore defensive lineman JaZir Bostick caused a strip sack on fourth down to give the Raiders the ball at their own 41-yard line. It was the first of four forced fumbles by Richmond, but the Raiders’ first offensive play also resulted in a fumble to give the ball right back.

Both teams struggled offensively in the early going, seeing the first quarter go without any points on the board. Sophomore defensive end Ahmad Morrison picked up a tackle for loss of Scotland’s second drive to force a punt, but the Raiders gave it away two plays later on a fumble following a long run by freshman running back Brandon Askins.

Freshman punter Dylan Locklear played a big role early on, having to punt on several drives but gave the Raider defense some breathing room after being pinned deep in their own territory. Sophomore linebacker Ke’Sean Ingram added a tackle for loss on Scotland’s third drive to force the Scots’ second punt of the game.

At the start of the second quarter, Morrison and freshman linebacker Tez Anderson forced a fumble and that saw Morrison fall on top of the ball at the Scotland 35-yard line. The Raider offense would take advantage of the miscue with a touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Harley Honeycutt to sophomore wideout Javares Stanback.

The 41-yard catch and run over the middle of the field put the first six points on the board for Richmond, and Locklear tacked on the first of his two point after attempts to give the Raiders a 7-0 lead with 7:50 left in the first half.

Scotland had an opportunity to score in the final 30 seconds of the second quarter, but the Richmond defense stood tall and forced three straight incompletions from the nine-yard line to head into the locker room with a one touchdown lead.

“It was a spirited week of practice on defense and they came in fired up and ready to play,” Hope commented. “I told them to maintain the same energy tonight and they did that. We made some adjustments and their ability to bend and not break helped us put a goose egg on the scoreboard.”

Morrison recorded his second fumble recovery of the game on Scotland’s first possession of the third quarter, this time at Scotland’s 23-yard line. Again, the Raider offense made Scotland pay, as Askins powered ahead up the middle for a nine-yard rushing score a couple plays later. 

Leading 13-0 with 8:43 left in the third stanza, both teams traded possessions for much of the second half. Scotland again drove into Richmond’s territory and sophomore linebacker Mikey Baldwin sealed the deal when he undercut a pass attempt and returned the ball 92 yards for a pick six.

Baldwin caught the ball in the middle of the field before cutting to the near sideline and raced the length of the field to the house. He broke several tackles, including one inside the 20-yard line. Locklear’s PAT was good to make it 20-0 with three minutes left in the third.

The Raider defense went to work the remainder of the game, limiting Scotland’s ball movement. Ingram also tallied a fumble recovery just over a minute into the fourth quarter.

Scotland had 159 yards of total offense, one more yard than Richmond. The Fighting Scots also had possession for almost 30 minutes, but went 2-for-12 on third downs against a stout Raider defense.

“Once Brandon scored his touchdown, I think the doubt started to creep in for Scotland,” Hope said. “We always talk about slamming the door shut, and Mikey was in the right position to make the pick. He used his speed to outrun the last couple of guys and get the score.

“Some guys who we may not have been counting on early in the season became big role players for us later in the season,” he closed. “That will only help them when they move onto varsity or come back with us next year.”

Last modified on Friday, 08 November 2019 08:31

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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