INDIAN TRAIL — It wasn’t exactly a repeat performance from last year, but it came close.
Richmond Senior scored on four straight possessions in the first half to cruise to a 56-28 victory over Sun Valley Friday night at Spartan Stadium.
In last season’s opener, the Raiders had three running backs top the 100-yard rushing mark led by Dakwa Nichols, who scored six touchdowns in the 70-28 win. This time, Elijah Goodwin and Nichols ran for more than 100 yards, while Diquon Cox just missed. Nichols finished the night with 123 yards on eight carries and two touchdowns, while Goodwin rambled for 116 yards on five touches and one score. Cox had 89 yards on 10 rushes.
“We made one mistake all night and it was a bone-headed call on my part,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “I was trying to be too cute down there and we turned it over. That’s not on the kids. That’s on me.”
The Raiders (1-0) finished with 608 yards of total offense, 461 on the ground. Richmond’s passing attack was equally as effective against Sun Valley. Starting quarterback Brent Flowers went 7 of 10 for 142 yards and three touchdowns. Backup Antonio Edens was 2-for-3 for 65 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
“I thought we really improved from the scrimmage last week,” Hoggard said. “You can’t really tell until you sit down and watch the film. The biggest thing is trying to improve. I told the team I didn’t think we improved from the game last year.”
One of the areas the Richmond coaching staff knows it will need to work on is its defense. The Raiders were gashed for 361 yards of offense by the Spartans. Running back Albert Funderburk ran for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Funderburk opened the game’s scoring by sprinting 55 yards up the middle for a touchdown and added an 80-yard score in the third quarter.
“We’re better than what we showed tonight,” Richmond defensive coordinator James Johnson said. “We are going to pay for our mistakes. The way we played in the second half is not acceptable. They thought it was over. It was lack of focus in the second half.”
Richmond will return to action 7:30 p.m. Friday when it travels to Lee County.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com