ROCKINGHAM — Unlike last season when South View frustrated Richmond Senior offensively in the first half, this go-around the Raiders had 284 yards in the opening 24 minutes.
Richmond’s only problem was putting points on the board, as it led 13-7 at halftime. The Raiders stormed out of the locker room in the second half and scored on their first three possessions to pull away for a 41-7 victory Friday night at Raider Stadium.
“I thought we played pretty well in the first half,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “We were moving the ball in the first half. We felt good but we weren’t able to get it in the end zone.”
Senior running back Dakwa Nichols got things going in the second half for the Raiders. On the second play of the third quarter, Nichols took a pitch and ran down the right sideline. After picking up 10 yards, Nichols pivoted to his left, cut back across the field and ran the final yards untouched along the left sideline to complete a 60-yard scoring run.
“I have to give credit to the offensive line for blocking great on the play,” Nichols said. “Also the receivers — Trent (Bostick) and Raheem (Bowden) — for blocking and giving me an opening to cutback. I just saw it and did it. It was just one of those instinct things.”
Nichols finished the contest with 219 yards on 13 carries and the lone score. Diquon Cox found the end zone twice, one from 2 yards out and the other on a 48-yard scamper down the right sideline.
For the fourth straight game, the Raiders (4-0) had more than 527 yards of total offense. Richmond finished with 587, 453 on the ground. Starting quarterback Brent Flowers was 7 of 11 for 89 yards and two touchdowns, while backup Antonio Edens was 3-for-4 for 45 yards.
“I was impressed with the way we played tonight against South View because they are a physical football team,” Hoggard said. “We got after them pretty good. We had a workman-like approach to the game.”
Following its touchdown-drive to open the contest, the Tigers struggled to get things going offensively. Quarterback Troy Cain connected with wide receiver Antonio Smith for a 69-yard pass play to move the ball to the Richmond 2. On the next play, Cain dove across the goal line for South View’s lone points of the game.
“They hit us with the play-action pass,” Hoggard said. “We made a mistake on the backside and it hurt us.”
On the ensuing kickoff, the ball bounced off one of the upbacks on Richmond’s kickoff team which was recovered by South View. The Tigers were unable to take advantage and went three-and-out.
“We came out and got the stop after that touchdown,” Richmond defensive coordinator James Johnson said. “We kept digging ourselves out of holes. I thought we did a good job overcoming some adversity.”
South View (0-4) threatened to take the lead into halftime after moving the ball to the Richmond 10 with just over one minute left in the second quarter. Cain attempted to throw a fade pass into the right corner of the end zone to Sergio Britton but Richmond’s Devontae Watkins came up with an interception to turnback the threat.
Richmond will look to remain undefeated before the open date when it travels to West Forsyth at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Titans downed North Forsyth 26-12.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org