ROCKINGHAM — As one player gets healthy and another goes down.
This seems to be the theme for the Richmond Senior football team since opening Southeastern Conference play.
The Raiders were without starting running back Miles Grant and linebacker Gus Chambers in last week’s win over Purnell Swett. Both should to return to the lineup tonight against Lumberton.
Grant is third on the team with 643 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. Chambers has recorded 31 tackles and has five tackles for loss, second-best on the squad.
However, backup running back Jesse Williams and middle linebacker John Taylor aren’t expected to be in uniform against the Pirates.
This doesn’t mean everyone else is out there at 100 percent. Quarterback Brent Flowers injured his non-throwing thumb on a run against the Rams and according to Richmond coach Paul Hoggard, running back Diquon Cox is feeling “about as good as he has in a while.”
Cox is 54 yards away from hitting the 1,000-yard mark for the second straight season. The senior has scored a team-high 11 touchdowns.
There is no good time to have a starter on the sideline, but if there is, this might be the week for it.
The Pirates come into the contest 0-8 overall and 0-2 in the SEC. Former defensive coordinator Ron Cook was named the interim head coach prior to the Hoke County game last week, replacing Joe Salas.
Even with the switch at the top, Hoggard said there was just a small change to Lumberton’s philosophies on offense and defense.
“They became a little more multiple in the Hoke game,” he said. “They have been running more odd fronts, but they used some even fronts. The good thing is there isn’t a whole lot we haven’t seen this late in the season. Knock on wood, we have been able to stay healthy on the line and they have seen about every look.”
Richmond defensive coordinator Mark Arthur added the Pirates remained in the “Air Raid” offense installed under Salas against the Bucks and believes they will still utilize it tonight.
Lumberton quarterback Austin Foley was 30 of 47 for 308 yards and two touchdowns against Hoke. Bryan Carpenter caught seven passes for 89 yards and Josh Sheridan had three receptions for 94 yards.
“All we can do is prepare for what we have seen on tape,” Arthur said. “At this point we have seen enough offenses that even if they did something else we would be able to adjust. Our tackling is improving and so is our understanding of what we want to do and how we need to fit on plays.”
Richmond JV football team routs Lumberton
LUMBERTON — The Richmond Senior junior varsity football team remained undefeated with a 62-0 victory over Lumberton Thursday night.
The Raiders (8-0, 3-0) led 48-0 at halftime.
Luke Hoggard threw for two touchdowns and seven Richmond players scored in the victory.
“We came out and played hard,” JV coach Jason Norton said. “We didn’t a good first series, then we came together. And the defense was flying around again.”
Richmond will return to action 7 p.m. Thursday at home against Pinecrest.
Hamlet edges Anson Orange
HAMLET — The Hamlet Middle School volleyball team rallied to defeat Anson Orange in five sets Thursday afternoon to finish first in their division.
The Red Rams downed the Bearcats 14-25, 25-15, 10-25, 25-18, 15-12. Leading the way in the victory were: Greyson Way with 26 service points and two aces, Altman Griffin with 22 service points and four aces, Owen Bowers with 19 service points and two aces, and Kevonna Reed with 14 service points and three aces.
Hamlet will play host to West Hoke 4 p.m. Monday in the opening round of the playoffs.
— 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