Editor’s note — The Richmond County Daily Journal will look back at the top moments from the Richmond Senior athletic department this season.
ROCKINGHAM — With a sophomore quarterback — who had yet to take a varsity snap — under center, Richmond Senior coach Paul Hoggard decided to limit his playbook.
The strategy worked out perfect for the Raiders in their season opener.
“We were about as basic as we could be,” Hoggard said. “We didn’t run that many plays, but the big hogs up front did a good job and the running backs did a good job of running it.”
Richmond rushed for 506 yards and finished with a season-high 553 yards of total offense in a 70-28 rout of Sun Valley. In the contest, the running back trio of Steve Houston, Dakwa Nichols and Ridge Sato each topped the 100-yard plateau. It was the first time in the Raiders’ 40-year history, the team had three running backs go over 100 yards in the same game.
“The offensive line was blocking good all night,” Nichols said after the game.
Despite rushing for a team-high 150 yards, there was a question if the junior running back was going to pass the 100-yard mark. After returning a kick and a punt for touchdowns as well as finding the end zone three other times on the ground, Nichols was close to remaining on the sideline. However, the coaching staff realized Nichols was just shy of reaching 100 yards and sent him back onto the field.
On his final carry of the contest, Nichols broke two tackles en route to a 67-yard touchdown scamper to enter the Richmond history book with his teammates.
“They were saying it would be my fault if we didn’t get the record,” Nichols said. “I knew I was short because Coach (Brad Denson) told me I need 15 yards.”
Richmond’s offensive explosion came against a Sun Valley team which would advance to the third round of the state 4A playoffs.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com