ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond football team is one of three teams in the Sandhills Athletic Conference with only one loss in conference play, but currently sits in fourth place in the standings.
Scotland (7-1, 5-0 SAC) holds down the top spot with five consecutive wins, while both Seventy-First (7-2, 4-1 SAC) and Jack Britt (6-3, 4-1 SAC) are tied for second place. Richmond (6-3, 4-1 SAC) find itself behind in the race — despite having the same conference record as the two Fayetteville schools — because of its loss to Jack Britt three weeks ago.
But the good news is, the Raiders still have a chance to win the conference championship.
“There’s all kinds of things that could happen in the next two weeks,” head coach Bryan Till said. “To achieve the goals we set at the beginning of the year, we’ve got to win these last two games.”
With Richmond facing Seventy-First and Scotland in its final two games, and Jack Britt and Seventy-First squaring off in their season finale next week, there are a number of scenarios that could determine where the Raiders end up.
Here’s a look at the team’s possible finishes in the final SAC standings:
Richmond could be crowned conference champions, for the first time since 2010, with back-to-back victories over the Falcons and the Scots to end the year. If that were to happen, Till believes it will give his team the amount of confidence it needs heading into the the 4AA NCHSAA State Playoffs next month.
“This is the point of the season where we’ve got to stop talking about playing with good teams, and it’s time to start actuallly beating good teams,” he said Wednesday morning.
A second-place finish would be possible if the Raiders were to defeat Seventy-First tonight and then lose to Scotland next week. At the same time Jack Britt would have to either split its final two games — winning at Pinecrest and then falling to Seventy-First — or lose both.
The loss to Jack Britt in Week 7 is coming back into play now that the season is coming to an end. Richmond is counting on the Buccaneers’ win over Hoke County last week to be its last if it wants a top-three spot in the final standings.
The Raiders’ third-place scenario is a bit similar to what would need to happen for them to finish as runners-up — a win over Seventy-First and a loss at Scotland. Only in this situation, the Falcons would have to also lose to Jack Britt next week.
That would leave Seventy-First in fourth with three conference losses, Richmond in third with two defeats, and Jack Britt in second with only one. Scotland would have to take care of business against Lumberton this week as well.
No matter what happened in any other SAC games, Richmond would remain in fourth place if it ended the year with back-to-back losses. That wouldn’t be the end, however, as the Raiders would more than likely still earn a spot in the state playoffs.
“It’s so much that’s up in the air,” Till said.
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.
The Richmond football team needs to win its final two games in order to be crowned the Sandhills Athletic Conference champions. It hosts Seventy-First tonight and will travel to Scotland next Friday to close out the regular season.