MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — It was near flawless offensive execution by Richmond Senior, but not enough to make coach Paul Hoggard happy.
The Raiders scored on their first five possessions of the game and their opening three drives of the second half en route to a 64-30 victory Friday night.
At halftime and after the game, Hoggard stressed one word — penalties. Richmond committed 13 in the win against Myrtle Beach.
“They stopped one drive,” Hoggard said. “We will have to go back and look at film. Looking from the sideline, I was pleased with our effort tonight.”
One player Hoggard singled out for his performance against the Seahawks was Diquon Cox. The senior running back posted career-highs with 265 yards on 14 carries and four touchdowns.
These numbers came in just three quarters of play. By halftime, Cox had 194 rushing yards and scored Richmond’s final three touchdowns. He was named the game’s MVP by the sponsors of the Derrick Law Firm Carolina Kickoff Clash presented by Sports Radio 100.3 The Team.
“I want to thank the offensive line for doing a good job and I want to thank God,” Cox said.
The Raiders’ other starting running back, Miles Grant, didn’t put up eye-popping numbers but ran for 84 yards and a touchdown. Grant also had two catches for 34 yards and notched the go-ahead score on a 23-yard swing pass from Brent Flowers.
“I thought our skill players looked really good tonight,” Hoggard said. “I thought the running backs looked good, Brent looked good. We were very explosive tonight.”
The Seahawks (0-1) were expected to match the Raiders score for score with their pass-heavy offense. However, it was the running game which kept Myrtle Beach within shouting distance of the visitors in the opening 24 mintues.
Brandon Sinclair scored two touchdowns and rushed for 112 yards in the first half. Sinclair accounted for all but three of Myrtle Beach’s yards in the contest’s initial drive, capping it off with a 3-yard dash into the end zone. Sinclair tacked on a 17-yard run midway through the second quarter to slice Richmond’s lead to 27-17.
Even though Sinclair was able to find room to run against the Raiders, quarterback Drayton Arnold struggled in his first varsity start. Arnold went 6 of 19 for 75 yards and three interceptions. Arnold was pulled after throwing his third pick of the night. His replacement, Jake Deskins, led the Seahawks on their final two touchdown drives of the contest.
“The difference was tackling,” Richmond defensive coordinator Mark Arthur said. “Their first two touchdowns we just missed the tackle. It wasn’t anything scheme-wise. We didn’t make a play, we gave up too many freebies.
“I thought we did a good job on the backend in coverage which allowed our pressure to get to them.”
In other action involving Southeastern Conference teams: Pinecrest knocked off Douglas Byrd 45-28, Pine Forest downed Lumberton 44-28, Scotland rolled past Jack Britt 52-21 and Purnell Swett edged Red Springs 32-21.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.