ROCKINGHAM — When Richmond Senior battled Lee County last year, the Raider defense was minutes away from posting a shutout.
Lee County’s Paris Martin dashed those hopes with a fourth-quarter 41-yard run for a touchdown in Richmond’s 44-7 win.
Richmond defensive coordinator James Johnson is hoping for a repeat performance tonight when the Raiders visit the Yellow Jackets. After watching video of Lee County’s 49-0 over Southern Lee, Johnson knows it will be a tough task.
“They’re pretty good offensively,” Johnson said. “Their quarterback (Chase Arrington) throws it well and they try to get him involved running. They have some option things in the offense, but they aren’t an option team. They have two running backs (James Foushee and Matthew Givens) that have a little wiggle in them. It’s not going to be a week off.”
The Yellow Jackets scored touchdowns on three of its first four possessions against their in-county rivals and racked up 269 rushing yards in the contest. Arrington was 9 of 12 passing for 107 yards and two interceptions, while adding another 58 on the ground with two touchdowns. Foushee rushed for two touchdowns and Givens had a 26-yard score for Lee County.
Johnson was pleased with his unit’s effort for 24 minutes against Sun Valley especially with the pass coverage and expects a better performance tonight.
“In the first half we were pretty good,” Johnson said. “In the passing game, they threw it something like 35 times and got 143 yards. We had eight or nine pass breakups. We forced them to make the throws we wanted them to make and we came up and made the tackle.
“In the second half the effort was not too good, but it showed us what we need to fix.”
As Johnson is looking for a full game from the defense, Richmond coach Paul Hoggard is hoping the offense continues its torrid pace.
The Raiders ran for 466 yards and passed for another 207 in the 56-28 win over the Spartans in the season opener. Running backs Dakwa Nichols and Elijah Goodwin each rushed for 114 yards, while Diquon Cox recorded another 95. Nichols found the end zone twice in the running game and added a 63-yard reception for a score.
Quarterback Brent Flowers was 7 for 9 for 142 yards and three touchdowns against Sun Valley, while backup Antonio Edens went 2-of-3 with a touchdown. Flowers hooked up with Raheem Bowden on two of his touchdowns. Trent Bostick had the other reception for a touchdown.
“We did some good things,” Hoggard said. “There are some things we can do a lot better. I thought we let up a little bit in the fourth quarter. Up until that point, I didn’t think our execution was awful.”
As Hoggard looked over the statistics from the win over the Spartans, he was impressed with the results from the running backs. The Raiders averaged 12.9 yards per carry in the win.
“Dakwa had nine touches in the game, Elijah had five and Diquon had 10,” Hoggard said. “That’s a lot of production with a few touches.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org