Then Anson committed four straight turnovers on four straight offensive possessions in the final minutes of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter leading directly to 28 unanswered points by Richmond, as the Raiders pulled away to a 63-28 victory Friday night.
“Anytime you turn the ball over in your own territory, it’s always going to hurt you,” said Richmond coach Paul Hoggard. “We just took advantage of their mistakes and just scored touchdowns off of them.”
The Raiders (3-0) tied the game at 28 on a 16-yard touchdown reception by Quayshawn Dumas from Tedarrius Wiley, when on the ensuing Bearcats possession Richmond’s Justin Wall recovered Maurice Copeland’s fumble giving the ball back to Richmond at the Anson 19.
Richmond took the lead for good on its next drive when Labarrian Jones rushed five yards into the end zone. The run capped a quick 2-play scoring march and gave the Raiders a 35-28 advantage.
After the kickoff return, Anson (1-2) turned the ball right back to the Raiders as Jordan Hildreth’s pass was intercepted by Richmond’s Kasheem Reid at the Bearcat 42 and returned it to the 37.
“The second turnover in the second half turned the tide of the game,” Hoggard said. “I think that’s the one that really deflated them.”
It took eight plays for the Raiders to punch the ball back into the end zone and extend its lead to 42-28 as Jones scored on a 7-yard run.
Once again, right after the kick off return the Bearcats suffered another turnover. Reid stripped Anson’s Dondre Crawford of the football, which was recovered by Tyquan Wall at the Anson 35.
The Raiders only needed two plays to push the advantage to 49-28. After a Walter Ellerbe 25-yard run, Jones scored his third touchdown of the night from 10 yards.
On the Bearcats’ next possession, Richmond’s Antoine Bostick stepped in front of a Hildreth pass for an interception on the first play from scrimmage at the Anson 35 and returned it five yards to the 30.
Richmond tacked on its sixth touchdown on its sixth possession of the second half, when Wiley capped a five-play drive with a 14-yard touchdown scamper to make score 56-28 the Raiders.
“We got pretty good talent on offense,” Hoggard said about his team’s quick-strike abilities, as the Raiders scored six of their nine touchdowns in four plays or less. “Tedarrius runs the offense well, Labarrian and Walter are pretty good backs. Our offensive line is coming together and our wide receivers do a good job blocking on the perimeter.”
Despite his team allowing a season-high 28 points, Hoggard was pleased with how his defensive unit adjusted in the final two quarters.
“We struggled some what defensively in the first half,” Hoggard said. “It was a great testament of how we turned the tide in the second half.”
Hoggard, a former assistant coach at Anson, was impressed with how the Bearcats played despite being a 3AA team.
“Their kids played really hard and battled us in the first half,” Hoggard said. “They are going to win a lot of games this season.”
The Raiders return to action at 7:30 p.m. Friday night when they play host to Butler at Raider Stadium.