Sun Valley at Richmond
ROCKINGHAM — Dakwa Nichols, Ridge Sato and Steve Houston became the first running back trio in the 40-year history of Richmond Senior to individually rush for 100 yards in a game in the Raiders’ 70-28 victory over Sun Valley.
Nichols ties a school record with six touchdowns in the game. The junior running back had four rushing scores and added two special team scores, one on a punt return, the other on an 89-yard kickoff return.
Nichols finishes with 150 rushing yards, Sato added 146, while Houston ran for 124.
“We were about as basic as we could be,” Richmond coach Paul 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.”
Lee County at Richmond
ROCKINGHAM — Steve Houston rushed for a team-high 238 yards and three touchdowns to spark Richmond Senior past Lee County, 44-7.
Four Raiders totaled at least 75 rushing yards in the victory. Dakwa Nichols ran for 78 yards and a score, while Ridge Sato notched 79 yards and quarterback Brent Flowers rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns.
For the second straight week, Richmond finishes with more than 500 yards of total offense. The Raiders lost their shutout bid when the Yellow Jackets’ Paris Martin scored on a 41-yard run in the fourth quarter.
“The backs we have are playing really well right now,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “The offensive line is doing pretty good, but we have a long way to go. Things are only going to get tougher the rest of the way.”
Richmond at Anson County
WADESBORO — In a contest suspended because of lightning, Dakwa Nichols sparks a sluggish Richmond Senior offense in the third quarter.
Nichols scored on a run of 46 yards on the opening drive of the second half and added a 17-yard scoring scamper to lead the Raiders to a 45-20 win over Anson County. The junior running back finished with a game-high 145 yards and four touchdowns.
The game was suspended with 4:09 left in the first quarter after a thunderstorm swept in with Anson County at the Raider 33-yard line.
“The game was almost too easy for us in the beginning,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “We thought it was going to be a walk in the park. Anson made some adjustments and played hard. Our kids had to step up.”
Richmond at South View
HOPE MILLS — For the first time during the season the Richmond Senior football team faced a halftime deficit.
The Raiders overcame four first-half turnovers and rallied from the 11-point hole to knock off South View, 36-21.
Richmond scored two touchdowns in the opening moments of the third quarter to take the lead for good and didn’t commit a turnover in the final 24 minutes.
Kicker Todd Inman booted a 41-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter to give the team a momentum boost heading into halftime.
“Everything you can do wrong, we did in the first half,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “We snapped the ball over our quarterback’s head. We threw interceptions. I thought they outplayed us in the first half. In the second half our kids really responded.”
West Forsyth at Richmond
ROCKINGHAM — Dakwa Nichols breaks free for 134 yards and three touchdowns to lead Richmond Senior to a 41-13 victory over West Forsyth.
After having eight fumbles against South View the week before, the Raiders’ first team offense didn’t have a turnover against the Titans.
West Forsyth was limited to 159 yards of total offense.
“Except for a few things, I think that is the smoothest we have been offensively this season,” Raider coach Paul Hoggard said. “We were very efficient on offense and threw the ball tonight more than we have all year. For three and a half quarters we played very well.”
Richmond at Hoke County
RAEFORD — Hoke County quarterback David Walrath connected with Jammy Nickleson for an 18-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to lift the Bucks to a 24-21 victory over Richmond Senior.
It was the first win for Hoke County in 35 tries against the Raiders.
Turnovers doomed Richmond in the game, as the Raiders lost two fumbles inside of the Hoke 5-yard line.
“We played a good football team tonight and when you make mistakes, you usually don’t win the game,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “I have to give Hoke credit, they played a great game.”
Purnell Swett at Richmond
ROCKINGHAM — The game came down to an inch, maybe even less than that.
After trailing by 14 at halftime, Purnell Swett roared back to life in the second half and went for a 2-point conversion to take the lead in the fourth quarter. Juwan Jones’ attempt was turned back by Steve Houston at the goal line to give the Raiders a 42-41 victory.
“I knew I had to stop him,” Houston said. “He had the ball right there and if I got off the block a millisecond later, he would have scored.”
Lumberton at Richmond
ROCKINGHAM — In the final home game of the regular season, Richmond Senior needed a fourth-quarter interception by Robert Williams to seal a 27-22 victory over Lumberton.
Trailing 20-15, the Pirates had the ball at the Richmond 21 with under three minutes left in the game when Williams stepped in front of a Montrae Strother pass for the game-saving interception.
“They have a good football team,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “We couldn’t put them away.”
Richmond at Pinecrest
SOUTHERN PINES — For the second week in a row, Richmond needed another fourth-quarter interception to turn back a Southeastern Conference foe.
Steve Houston intercepted a tipped pass at the goal line with less than a minute to play in the contest to help the Raiders escape with a 12-7 victory over Pinecrest.
Earlier in the quarter, the Patriots were inside of the Richmond 5-yard line when Rashard Holiday forced a Joe White fumble. The ball bounced into the end zone for a touchback.
“I was playing with my eyes,” Houston said. “I saw the ball in the air and went for it.”
Richmond at Scotland
LAURINBURG — In a battle for the Southeastern Conference championship, Scotland snapped a 17-year losing streak with a 41-7 victory over Richmond Senior.
Kwashaun Quick, the SEC’s player of the year, finished the night with more than 300 yards of total offense and had a hand in two touchdowns for the Fighting Scots.
“They are such a great football team that we knew we had to play well to stay in the game, but we didn’t,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said.
Northwest Guilford at Richmond
ROCKINGHAM — After three straight postseason losses to Richmond at Raider Stadium, the fourth time turned out to be the charm for Northwest Guilford.
Reid Baxter scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard dive to cap a 10-play, 64-yard drive which drained more than 5 minutes off the clock and the Vikings added a late defensive score in a 28-14 victory in the opening round of the state 4AA playoffs.
It was the first time the Raiders had been knocked out of the postseason in the first round since 1993.
“We just couldn’t get anything going,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “We just couldn’t break loose. When we needed a big play, we didn’t get it. When we needed a big stop, we didn’t get it.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org