ROCKINGHAM — Richmond’s quest for its eighth state title was ended at the hands of Butler in the third round of the state 4AA playoffs. The Raiders rolled to their second straight outright Southeastern Conference title and remained undefeated against SEC opponents since the league was recreated in 2009.
Richmond vs. Providence
The Raiders overcome four turnovers in the first 12 minutes to turn back the Panthers 31-21. Walter Ellerbe Jr. gives Richmond the lead for good with 5:29 left in the game on a 15-yard run. The defense helps seal the victory by forcing Providence quarterback Chauncey Concepcion into a fumble deep in Panther territory in the closing moments of the game. Ellerbe Jr. adds another score from six yards out for the final margin.
Richmond at Lee Co.
Once again, Richmond has problems with turnovers, but like in its win over Providence is able to overcome. The Raiders trail 14-8 in the middle of the second quarter, before reeling off 30 straight points to pull away for a 38-21 victory. Another fumble by the opposition’s quarterback, this one by Carson Wilson, leads directly to a Richmond touchdown in the midst of the onslaught.
Richmond vs. Anson Co.
L.J. Stroman provides the Raiders all of the offense they will need on the opening kickoff against the Tigers. Stroman fielded the kick at the Raider 24 and seconds later was standing in the Anson end zone with a 76-yard return for a touchdown. The defense makes the points standup, surrendering only a safety on a penalty in the end zone after an interception. Walter Ellerbe Jr. clinches the game with a 1-yard dive in the closing seconds for a 14-2 win.
Richmond vs. Butler (at Charlotte’s Memorial Stadium)
Defending state champion Butler hands Richmond its first loss of the season, 21-7. The Bulldogs take the opening kickoff and march down the field capped by a Jahwan Edwards’ 1-yard dive. The Raiders respond after an interception of a Riley Ferguson pass at midfield as Walter Ellerbe Jr. runs in from six yards out to tie the game. Butler takes the lead for good on its first possession of the second half on a 47-yard pass play from Ferguson to Edwards.
Richmond vs. South View
The Raiders score all of their points in the first half to down the Tigers, 21-7. Steve Houston caps an 88-yard, 13-play drive with a 15-yard run into the end zone. Laron Ellerbe tosses two touchdowns in the victory, a 35-yard strike to L.J. Stroman and a 7-yard fade to John Rich. The Raider defense surrenders a 72-yard pass for the Tigers’ lone score.
Richmond vs. New Hanover
Richmond storms out of the starting blocks with 21 unanswered points before the Wildcats break into the scoring column. Steve Houston races 40 yards for the opening tally in the first half. Walter Ellerbe Jr. tacks on a 27-yard scoring run in the 49-20 victory.
Richmond vs. Hoke (SEC contest)
The Raiders once again come flying out of the gates in the beginning of the contest, this time building a 17-0 first-half lead. Laron Ellerbe hooks up with Steve Houston for a 20-yard touchdown pass and from 63 yards with L.J. Stroman for a score. Houston adds a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown for Richmond in the 38-17 conference-opening win.
Richmond at Purnell Swett (SEC contest)
For the first time in three contests, Richmond finds itself trailing, this time 14-6 to Purnell Swett. The Raiders recover and score 28 unanswered points to pull out a 34-14 victory. The spark was a defensive stop in the second quarter. The defense turned back the Rams after a long kickoff return put them deep in Raider territory. After a missed field goal, Steven Houston sprinted 59 yards for the go-ahead score late in the second quarter.
Richmond at Lumberton (SEC contest)
The second hard-fought game in Robeson County for Richmond. After Lumberton tied the game at 14 in the third quarter, the Raiders rip off 21 straight points to pull away for a 35-14 win. Steve Houston had consecutive runs of 74 and 55 yards to push the Raiders back in front for good.
Richmond vs. Pinecrest (SEC contest)
The Raiders cruise past their opponents to the north, 51-7. The victory allows Richmond to grab at least a share of the Southeastern Conference title. The Raiders led 44-0 at halftime as the starters are on the sideline in the second half.
Richmond vs. Scotland (SEC contest)
Richmond trails by 18 in the second quarter, but finds some old Raider Magic to rebound and score 28 unanswered points to pull away for a 31-21 win. Richmond clinches its second straight outright SEC crown. Dakwa Nichols runs into the end zone from 30 yards out to put Richmond up for good in the game.
Richmond vs. Providence (4AA state playoffs)
Earlier in the season, Richmond needed a fourth-quarter comeback to down Providence, not this time. The Raiders cruise to a 35-0 victory, the team’s first shutout since blanking Lee County 28-0 in the 2009 season. L.J. Stroman intercepts a Chauncey Concepcion pass and returns it deep into Panther territory to set the tone for the contest.
Richmond vs. Northwest Guilford (4AA state playoffs)
The teams are tied at 21 at halftime, before the Raiders take the opening possession of the second half and march down the field for a 30-yard Chandler Conner field goal. Walter Ellerbe Jr. adds touchdown runs of 6, 32 and 33 yards in the second half as the Raiders cruise to a 45-21 win.
Richmond vs. Butler (4AA state playoffs)
Butler breaks a 14-all tie by ripping off 34 straight points to pull away for the convincing win enroute to its second consecutive state championship. Walter Ellerbe Jr. closes out his career in style by returning Butler’s final kick off 100 yards for a touchdown.