ROCKINGHAM — The Raider defensive unit had one of its best performances Friday night, but junior wideout Jahyee Stanback will be the one remembered due to his late-game heroics.
With Richmond trailing 19-17, backed up on its own four-yard line with a little more than two minutes left in the game, Stanback faked like he was going deep and came back to catch a perfectly placed ball from freshman quarterback Caleb Hood. That reception was just enough for a first down and gave the home team some breathing room.
On the next play, Hood dropped back in the pocket and launched a deep ball to Stanback as he blew past Seventy-First cornerback Jamiese Alston down the left sideline. The junior receiver would haul in the pass and take it 86 yards for the game-winning touchdown.
“I just did what I had to do to score, and I felt like my team had my back,” Stanback said.
The Raiders would be successful on their two-point conversion attempt — a reverse pass from senior Kaleb Douglas to a wide-open Hood in the end zone — and hold on for a 25-19 victory over Seventy-First.
“Unbelievable,” head coach Bryan Till said. “This is what Raider Magic is all about and I enjoyed being a part of it tonight.”
Richmond (7-3, 5-1 SAC) had a solid night on the defensive side of the ball, as it stuffed the Falcon offense near the goal line three times on the night — he last two happening the final moments.
Following a missed 32-yard field goal late in the third quarter, which kept them behind on the scoreboard, the Raiders turned the ball back over to Seventy-First — who took over with 48 seconds left and held possesion for the next seven minutes of play.
When the Falcons got down into the red zone, however, senior tailback Fabion Jones fumbled the handoff and Richmond recovered in the backfield. But the home team couldn’t figure out a way to move the chains and was forced to punt.
Seventy-First (7-3, 4-2 SAC) started from Richmond’s 31-yard line and saw Jones break free for a 29-yard run on the first play from scrimmage — getting the ball down the two-yard line. Three plays later, and still no points on the board, the visiting team decided to go for it and was once again stuffed on fourth down.
That defensive stand set up Stanback’s go-ahead score.
“Those stops on defense were huge,” Till said. “I’m so proud of our kids. They just kept bouncing back.”
Seventy-First’s ensuing offensive possession didn’t produce any yards and the Raiders took over on the 24-yard line. After senior tailback Dante Miller broke a 12-yard run, Hood took a knee and watched as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
Hood completed nine of his 11 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, his other falling into the hands of senior wide receiver Da’Shaun Wallace for a 39-yard score with 8:54 left in the third quarter. Stanback caught five passes for 186 yards, Wallace racked up three catches for 66 yards and junior Jordyn Wall had one reception for 14 yards.
Miller ran the ball 17 times for 180 yards and a score — a 56-yard race, in the second quarter, after he cut back to the right side of the field. He took his first carry 95 yards for what would’ve been the game’s first touchdown, but Wallace was called for a block in the back as he neared the goal line.
Senior kicker Victor Lucero knocked in a 31-yard field goal to start the night.
“That was a great team that we just played. But at the end of the day, we just had to keep fighting,” Stanback said. “And that’s what we did.”
Richmond – 1Q 4:18, Victor Luc
Seventy-First – 2Q 5:54, Kyler
Richmond – 2Q 5:16, Dante Mill
Seventy-First – 3Q 10:39, Jay’
Richmond – 3Q 8:54, Caleb Hood
Seventy-First – 3Q 6:07, Devan
Richmond – 4Q 2:11, Caleb Hood
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.
Richmond freshman quarterback Caleb Hood (12) drops back to pass in the final minutes of Friday night’s 25-19 win over Seventy-First. Hood would finish with 227 passing yards and two touchdowns, one of them being this 76-yard pass to junior wideout Jahyee Stanback.