The ghost of last year’s loss to Hoke County can now be put to rest, following Friday’s 49-14 victory.
Yes, the first defeat to the Bucks in school history will always sting, but now Richmond can focus on the present — going on the road and beating Purnell Swett.
There will always be bumps during the year, but overcoming those obstacles will prove a team’s character.
When the Raiders lined up against the Bucks, there was no Dakwa Nichols in the backfield. It didn’t matter because Diquon Cox and Elijah Goodwin stepped in and rushed for nearly 200 yards in the game.
Richmond quarterback Brent Flowers generally has an uncanny connection with Trent Bostick in the passing game. Bostick caught one pass in the win for five yards, but that was fine because Raheem Bowden had two receptions — all for touchdowns — before leaving with an elbow injury in the second quarter.
Unlike last season when a proverbial gray cloud hovered over the Raiders when they lost starters to injuries or the bounces seemed to be going against them. Not so far this year, this team continues to battle and plug away no matter the circumstances.
A big reason for the change has to do with everyone on the squad being a year older and having the attitude of been there and done that.
A fan base which is used to winning 10-plus games a season and making deep runs in the postseason was shocked by last year’s 8-3 record and first-round departure.
In reality it was the law of averages catching up with Richmond. Not many teams on any level are going to win many championships with a sophomore quarterback under center and first-year starters up and down the depth chart.
Now those “rookies” from a year ago are grizzled veterans who are 6-0 on the season and beating the opposition by an average of nearly five touchdowns a game.
Not only is the offense still humming along, but the defense appears to be rounding into shape as well. After surrendering 56 points in the first two games, the Raiders have allowed 35 since, an average of just under nine points a game.
There’s still four contests left before a conference champion will be crowned, but things appear heading in the right direction for a Green and Gold fall.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.