With the home victory on a chilly fall night, the Raiders (9-1 overall, 4-0 SEC) wrapped up at least a share of the SEC title.
Scotland County lost a 24-19 decision to Lumberton Friday night, setting up a showdown with the Raiders next Friday night at Raider Stadium.
Richmond head coach Paul Hoggard and his staff have been reminding the Raiders to focus on one game at a time.
Now, the Raiders can focus squarely on the Fighting Scots.
Early on Friday night, it looked like the Raiders might be in for another game like the past two weeks, when the Raiders faced stiff early challenges from Purnell Swett and Lumberton squads before prevailing in the end
The Patriots moved the ball at will on their opening drive and looked as if they were poised to crack the scoreboard first and issue a challenge to the Raiders.
But the dive stalled, and the Patriots were forced to try a Dillon Maples 37-yard field goal. The result: No good; wide left. After a drive that seemed to establish a bit of confidence on offense, Pinecrest came away with nothing.
Richmond, on the other hand, wasted little time taking advantage of the Pinecrest miscue. Starting at the Richmond 20, the Raiders methodically drove the 80 yards in nine plays, finishing with a one-yard Walter Ellerbe TD run.
After a Pinecrest fumble, the Raiders struck again, this time needing just one play to cash in the Patriot gift. Quarterback Laron Ellerbe hooked up with Andy Shuler on a 58-yard TD pass - Shuler’s first TD of the 2010 season.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Raiders were in a pillaging mood. Pinecrest’s Damian Pride had the ball stripped by Richmond’s Steve Houston, who then waltzed 15 yards into the end zone to put the Raiders up by three scores.
From there, the rout was on. Richmond led 44-0 at halftime, also getting an eight-yard TD run from Walter Ellerbe, a 20-yard Chandler Conner field goal, a second TD strike from Laron Ellerbe to Shuler and a four-yard TD run by Dakwa Nichols.
The Raider starters called it a night at halftime, allowing for extensive varsity playing time for reserve and J.V. players.
The only Raider points of the second half came on a 68-yard run by sophomore running back Dakwa Nichols on the third play of the opening drive of the second half.
Sophomore backup quarterback Cody Wilson ran the Richmond offense for most of the second half.
Hoggard was pleased to see his team turn Pinecrest mistakes into points.
“We were able to move the ball well on the ground, and we also threw the ball well tonight,” Hoggard said.
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