FAYETTEVILLE — The Richmond football team got back into the win column Monday evening.
Three days after the Raiders were originally scheduled to play Pine Forest, they made the trip to Cumberland County and came away with a dominant 40-14 victory — with the sun shining and few clouds in the sky.
Freshman quarterback Caleb Hood led the charge on offense, accounting for 233 total offensive yards and three scores. He would throw for 159 yards and two scores and carry the ball 11 times for 74 yards and a score.
Both of Hood’s passing touchdowns were caught by senior wideout Da’Shaun Wallace, while his lone rushing touchdown was a 62-yard keeper with 6:06 left in the second quarter.
“He made a lot of great decisions early on, hitting those open guys and just taking care of the football,” head coach Bryan Till said. “We like where he’s going, we just want to continue to see progression.”
Richmond (2-1) got off to a great start in the non-conference matchup with senior Kaleb Douglas taking the opening kickoff 95 yards for his first special teams score of the season. But Pine Forest (0-3) had a quick answer, as senior Lavonte Carter received a handoff and raced 67 yards down the left side of the field for a touchdown.
And with only 35 seconds gone off the clock, the game was tied 7-7.
“I loved the offense. Defensively, I would’ve liked to see us go out and settle in a little sooner,” Till said.
Despite the early lapse on defense, the Raiders were able to separate themselves as the first half progressed.
Junior kicker Kyle Goodwin successfully kicked a 27-yard field goal, senior safety Shane Summey got a good jump off the edge and blocked a Pine Forest punt— resulting in a safety due to the ball sailing out of the back of the end zone — and Hood recorded his first touchdown pass to Wallace to give them a 19-7 lead.
A four-yard touchdown run from senior running back Dante Miller early in the second quarter was followed by an interception from senior safety Jaquan Everett, which led to Hood’s rushing score and a 33-14 advantage.
The second connection between Hood and Wallace, the Raiders’ final score of the night, took place right before the half. Wallace found himself wide open in the secondary and Hood made the throw as he was rolling right.
“He had a great opportunity tonight and made the most of it,” Till said of Wallace. “You never know when your opportunity is going to come, you’ve just go to stay ready. And Wallace did a great job of that tonight.”
With two of the team’s top receivers (juniors Jahyee Stanback and Bobby Terry) sitting out Monday night, Wallace stepped up when his number was called. He currently leads Richmond in receiving yards (148) and touchdowns (3) on the season.
“That’s what we want to see out of all of our kids,” Till added.
Douglas, who was competing for the starting quarterback position just a few weeks ago, finished with a total of 125 kick-return yards, 40 punt-return yards and 30 rushing yards. The two punt returns he had sparked some excitement, as he faked out a number of Pine Forest defenders and made timely cuts in order to keep the play alive.
“His versatility is unbelievable. That kid is fantastic with what he can do with the football in space,” Till said. “We probably would’ve got him the ball a little bit more on offense if we didn’t feel like he was so gassed from special teams.
“He had a huge night tonight,” he added.
The Trojans were led by Carter’s 139 yards on the ground and 90 passing yards from freshman quarterback Jaden Jones. Junior Dominic Roberto scored the Trojans’ second touchdown of the night, a 30-yard run in the opening period.
Richmond has a quick turnaround this week, as its scheduled to host Butler this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“The kids will bounce back. They’re very resilient and they love football, so I’m not worried about them. We’ll do a good job of managing their reps in practice so we’re not pounding a ton,” Till said. “Coaching-wise, we’ve really got to get on some film and figure out what Butler’s doing.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.