One of the best quotes Richmond Senior coach Paul Hoggard uttered following his team’s 41-7 victory over South View was “Teams don’t always score 60 points each week.”
Hoggard has been known to slip into the safe world of coach-speak sometimes and when he does, he is the first to admit it.
In this case, Hoggard wasn’t trying to avoid insulting or running up the score on Randy Ledford or his staff. He knew his Raiders played against a physical and athletic team, just like the ones they will line up against once the Southeastern Conference schedule begins in two weeks.
While Hoggard was pleased with the offensive performance, rolling up more than 525 yards for the fourth straight week, he also knows there were some points left on the field against the Tigers.
After scoring on their first possession of the game, Richmond was poised to add to its total on its second drive, moving the ball deep into South View territory. Dakwa Nichols darted into the heart of the Tiger defense and was fighting for an extra yard or two when he dropped the ball on the turf.
The fumble by the normally sure-handed Nichols showed it was one of those halves for the Raiders.
Richmond walked away with two touchdowns in the first half despite driving into South View territory four times. For the contest, the Raiders scored on six of their 10 possessions after going 17 for 21 in their previous two games.
A small step back for an offense which had been buzzing at a pretty good clip, averaging just over 56 points a game. A quick peek at the season statistics shows the coaching staff didn’t vary from its play-calling against the Tigers. The Raiders actually threw the ball two more times than its season average, while running it three more times.
While the majority of Richmond’s fans want to see the scoreboard explode with points, in the end, some things were just a little off kilter on offense. And to paraphrase Hoggard, you don’t score 60 points every time out, unless you are playing Madden or arena football.
Richmond showed with a handful of first-year starters on defense, there will be times this season when coordinator James Johnson will want to pull his hair out.
Against South View, Johnson may have wanted someone to get him the number for the Hair Club for Men.
The biggest breakdown came on the Tigers’ first possession, their only scoring drive of the game. The Raiders were beaten badly on a play-action pass, which allowed Troy Cain to connect with Antonio Smith on a 69-yard pass. On the next snap, Cain dove into the end zone for the touchdown.
Johnson has been stressing to his young unit all season about putting themselves in the right position to make plays. After putting it all together the week before against Anson, the defense, like the offense, took a small step back.
However, when the Raiders needed to come up with a big play, the defense found a way to get the Tigers off the field.
Even though it wasn’t pretty at times, the end result is all that matters. And it is hard to get to upset after a 34-point victory.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org