ROCKINGHAM — If the Raiders ever need a big play, they know who to call on.
Richmond Senior’s Steven Jones hauled in a Denarius Hilton fumble at the Raiders’ 35-yard line — early in the first quarter — and outran everyone on the field for the game’s first score of the night.
Jones has three touchdowns on the season (receiving, punt return, fumble recovery) — all of them at least 65 yards.
“Every time I get the ball, I’m determined to score,” Jones said.
The senior’s big return jump started what turned out to be another high-scoring first quarter for the Richmond Senior football team. The Raiders put up 24 points in the first 12 minutes of its 38-7 win over Anson County (1-1) on Friday night.
“I don’t know if we won all the time on offense or defense, but we made some plays,” coach Mike Castellano said. “And that was the big thing — we made plays when we had to. But we’ve got to get a lot more consistent.”
After an Alex Alvarado field goal and two passing touchdowns from Leon Zeigler, to Jaleen Baldwin and Cymontre Bennett, the Raiders struggled to produce points.
In the last three quarters, Richmond (2-0) had six possessions and only turned one into a score — an 18-yard pass from Zeigler to Dante Miller with 3:24 to go in the game. The other five possessions resulted in three punts, a missed field goal and a turnover-on-downs.
“I don’t know if it was much of a snag on offense,” Castellano added. “Our defense couldn’t get off the field at times and it killed momentum for us. We had some penalties that really hurt us.
“Defensively, a couple of times we had the ball backed up,” he continued. “We get them in a third down and we get a dumb penalty…And then all of sudden we flip the field and put our offense in a position where they’ve got to go 80 (yards) instead of the 50 or 60 they should have to go.”
Dandre Streeter was responsible for the other second-half score, as the senior linebacker ripped the ball from Anson’s Ravon Kirkland and raced 50-plus yards to the end zone — his second score in as many games.
When these two teams met last season, Richmond found itself trailing 13-0 after the first period and 20-19 at the half. The Raiders would score 24 points in the second half of that game to take home the win, but it wasn’t an ideal situation.
“We didn’t talk about last year at all,” Castellano said. “This team is a different team. We talked about what we needed to do (this year) — we needed to start well, execute, win field position and try to win on special teams.”
Leon Zeigler threw for 150 yards and three touchdowns in Friday night’s win. Sophomore Bobby Terry led Richmond in receiving yards (43), Bennett hauled in the most catches (4), Baldwin caught three passes for 32 yards and Miller, Damontre Bennett and Kaleb Douglas each had two receptions.
Shyhiem Wall recorded the only interception of the night.
For Anson, Kirkland bullied his way to 102 rushing yards on 19 carries. The senior scored the Bearcat’s only touchdown in the third quarter. Hilton was everywhere for Anson, throwing for 40 yards, rushing for 57 yards and catching a pass for 20 yards
The Raiders now prepare for Douglas Byrd, who fell 12-8 to St. Pauls on Friday.
“We’ve got to watch this film,” Castellano explained. “We’ll see what they bring to the table and we’ve got to go back to work. But we’ve got to get better on Monday at what we do first.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.