SANFORD — Lee County drew up the perfect scheme to frustrate Richmond Senior in the first half.
In the final 24 minutes, the Raiders made the needed adjustments to swat away the Yellow Jackets, 55-28, Friday night at Paul B. Gay Stadium.
After allowing 200 yards of offense to Lee County in the first half, Richmond’s defense stiffen and limited the home team to 96 the rest of the way.
“We simplified some things,” Richmond defensive coordinator James Johnson said. “We didn’t bring any pressure in the second half and just lined up and did our job.”
Lee County quarterback Chase Arrington was 11 of 17 for 160 yards and three touchdowns through the first two quarters and forced a 21-all tie with 7.1 seconds left in the first half when he connected with T.J. Lett on a 4-yard scoring pass.
Arrington finished the contest 16-for-26 for 191 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception.
“I asked the guys at halftime if they were better than us,” Johnson said. “They all said they weren’t. I asked them why aren’t we doing our jobs then. They scored on a reverse pass and drives were kept alive because of penalties. Lee County is a pretty good team, but you can’t keep giving teams second- and third-and-short.
“Except for the final drive, they were pretty much three-and-out in the second half. We have to have that way every play. I don’t know what we have to do to put four quarters together. If we do, we will be really good.”
While the Yellow Jackets were frustrating the Raiders on defense, Richmond was having problems getting its offense in gear. After rushing for more than 400 yards in the season-opening win over Sun Valley, the Raiders managed just under 300 against Lee County.
Dakwa Nichols was limited to 58 yards on 12 carries but found the end zone three times. Junior quarterback Brent Flowers picked up the slack for the Raiders, picking up 344 yards of total offense. Flowers completed 7 of 11 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns, while running for another 123 yards on six carries.
“That is why they call it a triple option, it’s dive, quarterback or pitch,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “If they take two things away, hopefully our quarterback is smart enough to pick the one that is open.”
In the passing game, Trent Bostick reeled in four catches for 123 yards and two scores. On each of his touchdown catches, Bostick racked up the yards after the catch. The senior juked out several Lee County defenders to score on passes from 41 and 55 yards out.
“We threw it well at times in the second half,” Hoggard said. “There were a couple of throws in the second half that we need to pull down. We had some good plays tonight.”
Richmond will battle Anson County at 7:30 p.m. Friday in its home opener.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org