FAYETTEVILLE — It didn’t take long for the Richmond Senior football team to find a groove in its 62-0 victory over Douglas Byrd on Thursday night.
On the first play from scrimmage, senior defensive back Brian Little dropped back in coverage and intercepted a David Badalucco pass to put the Raiders in good field position on their opening drive.
Three plays later, Leon Zeigler found sophomore Bobby Terry for a 16-yard touchdown.
“We talked about it last week — about our defense not getting off the field quick enough for our offense to to be able to go with the tempo that we want to go with,” coach Mike Castellano said. “If one facet’s not doing well, a lot of times it’s because the other two facets aren’t helping them. And tonight I thought you saw all three facets kind of work together.”
That score was the first of three from the Zeigler-Terry duo in the first quarter. The two would hook up on the ensuing possession, from 44 yards out, and once again to put the Raiders up 27-0.
“He’s getting better and better every day,” Zeigler said of Terry. “But, it was the coaches’ call. When they call it, we just do what we’re supposed to do.”
A Juwan McNeal sack would result in the second turnover for the Eagles and the fifth score for the Raiders, as Antoine Shaw located the ball, scooped it up and coasted his way to the end zone with 49 seconds to go in the opening period.
Douglas Byrd (0-3) received a second-quarter spark from junior Deonte Washington when he picked off a Zeigler pass, but the Eagles’ offense failed to get anything going — turning the ball over on downs.
Jerry Roberts, who came into Thursday’s game with 308 rushing yards on 44 carries, had a couple of good runs for Douglas Byrd, but a second-quarter arm injury would sideline him for the remainder of the game. The junior would finish with 21 rushing yards.
As a team, Douglas Byrd ran for just 34 yards.
James Freeman ran for 16 yards and Alexis Womack recorded 13 yards, but multiple bad snaps and some relentless defense from Richmond caused Badalucco to net -16 yards on the night.
“We worked hard on trying to be physical this week and I thought we got a little bit more physical,” Castellano added. “It was exciting to see the intensity level mantained throughout the game.”
The Raiders’ rushing attack, on the other hand, was clicking on all cylinders.
Damontre Bennett only needed five carries to gain 108 of the 270 yards Richmond gained on the ground. Jeremy Wall was second with 69 yards, while Awshawuan Collins rounded out the top three runners with 43 yards.
“I’m excited that a lot of guys got to contribute tonight,” Castellano said. “They (Wall and Collins) are guys who work hard every day. They’re very talented players and they did a great job.
“And so did the offensive line that was in there. We got a lot of guys on the offensive line that got reps today and they did a great job blocking.”
Bennett, Collins and Dante Miller each scored a rushing TD.
The team’s three rushing touchdowns complimented Zeigler’s five passing touchdowns — his fifth and final touchdown coming on a screen pass to Steven Jones that went 92 yards. The senior quarterback completed nine of his 12 passes for 219 yards.
Douglas Byrd’s Badalucco went to the air 14 times, completing three passes for 48 yards.
“We still made too many mistakes — penalty wise or assigment wise — that we have to clean up as we continue to move on with our schedule,” Castellano said. “But it’s good to get a W.”
Richmond (3-0) will put its undefeated record to test at Butler next Friday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m.
JV GAME CANCELLED
Friday’s junior varsity football game between Richmond and Douglas Byrd — which was scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m. at Richmond Senior — has been cancelled. The game will not be rescheduled.
The JV Raiders (2-0) defeated Rocky River and Anson in its first two games.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.