ROCKINGHAM — It didn’t take too long for Richmond Senior to forget about last year’s loss to Hoke County.
In fact, it took 54 seconds when Brent Flowers connected with Raheem Bowden on an 11-yard touchdown pass, which sent the Raiders on their way to a 49-14 victory over the Bucks in a battle of unbeatens Friday night at Raider Stadium.
Richmond improves to 6-0 on the season and 1-0 in the Southeastern Conference, while Hoke falls to 6-1, 0-1. Last season, the Bucks defeated the Raiders for the first time in school history, 24-21. Richmond is now 35-1 all time against Hoke.
The Raiders were able to jump out to a 28-0 first-quarter lead after starting three of their first four possessions inside of Bucks’ territory, which all resulted in a touchdown. Richmond ran a total of 13 plays in the first period.
“Our special teams let us down,” Hoke coach Milton Butts said. “They were able to get the ball in the short field and you can’t give a good football team like that a short field.”
Diquon Cox, who filled in for an injured Dakwa Nichols, scored on a 5-yard run on the team’s second drive. Cox finished the game with 115 yards on 10 carries.
Flowers found Kole Stanley for a 32-yard scoring play to cap a quick three-play, 80-yard drive, while Jaleel Stancil sprinted into the end zone from 10 yards out to close out the first-quarter scoring spurt.
“We had great field possession, which got us going early,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “I thought we played well early. Brent threw that interception and we got kind of blah there for a while. They were blitzing us and we didn’t handle it too well.”
Hoke took advantage of the Flowers interception to score its only points of the first half as Detrez Newsome capped a seven-play 47-yard drive with a 16-yard run up the middle. Newsome, the conference’s leading rusher at 228.1 yards a game, was limited to 39 yards on 18 carries.
“Really? Wow,” Hoggard said when he heard of Newsome’s statistics. “Mr. Newsome, that’s what I call him, has had a really good season so far, getting 200 and 300 yards a game. That’s amazing we were able to limit him to that.”
The Bucks were held to 137 yards of total offense in the game, while the Raiders racked up 364 yards, including 307 on the ground. Cox was the only Richmond runner to hit the 100-yard mark, but Elijah Goodwin added 77 yards on seven rushes, including a 12-yard run for a score.
“I thought they stepped in and played well,” Hoggard said of Cox and Goodwin. “Jaleel and Reggie (Harden) are kind of our powerbacks, while Dakwa and Elijah are the speed guys, Diquon is kind of in the middle. I really thought those guys played really well tonight.”
Richmond will travel to Pembroke at 7:30 p.m. Friday at face Purnell Swett. The Rams were shutout by Scotland 42-0 in their SEC opener. Hoke will travel to Lumberton to battle the Pirates. Lumberton, like Hoke, fell in its first conference clash, losing at Pinecrest 24-0.
“We are going to see how the kids handle the adversity,” Butts said. “I saw some positives tonight, the kids kept playing hard. We will see how they handle this week after the loss.”
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.