ROCKINGHAM — Going into Tuesday’s 7-on-7 with Marlboro County, head football coach Bryan Till didn’t know what to expect from his team — which had an “awful” practice the day before.
The Raiders came back from a week off and showed little to no energy during Monday’s morning workout. They were able to turn things around Tuesday evening, however, adjusting to new situations and competing with some intensity.
“I like the fact that we put different guys in different places and they competed. They didn’t always know what was going on but they competed and went hard,” Till said. “I was proud of how they rebounded from yesterday more than anything.”
Richmond’s defensive unit took the field first and didn’t allow Marlboro to score. Kaleb Douglas and the Raider offense took over afterwards and eventually made it into the endzone, with Douglas rolling right and connecting with Da’Shaun Wallace over the top of a Bulldog defender.
Rising freshman Caleb Hood stepped in to man the quarterback duties and dropped a ball into the hands of Dante Miller alongside the left sideline. Miller was able to show a little bit of his speed after the catch before stepping out of bounds.
Douglas was able to hook up with Wallace two more times for a score once the varsity and junior varsity teams were split up and playing inside the 10-yard line. Once the teams got back to playing the entire field, Hood would find Bobby Terry in the back of the endzone — which was the last play of Tuesday’s competition.
“I thought the offense looked a little smoother today than they’ve looked all summer. I think with the more reps, the better they’re getting,” Till said. “Those guys are understanding coverages and where those (void) spots are a lot better. I’m really excited about seeing that progress in our offense.”
On the team’s second defensive possession, Dereck Barringer intercepted an overthrown ball and began to run it back for a touchdown before coaches blew the play dead. That pick being the second for Barringer on the team’s practice fields during a 7-on-7, as the rising sophomore recorded a one-handed interception against Cape Fear nearly two weeks ago.
The Raider defense held tight at first, but eventually gave up a couple of scores when the teams moved inside the 10.
“Defensively, we’ve got to understand where our weaknesses are, and be able to rally to the football in different places. We also have to understand the leverage on pass routes, safety-wise, so we’re not giving it up to guys in coverage,” Till added.
Richmond will get back to workouts Wednesday morning and then prepare for another meeting with Lee County on Thursday, that will also involve a few lineman competitions. After its third and final morning workout on Friday, the team will have another week off thanks to the state’s second mandatory dead period.
Till says he’s going to stress to his players the importance of staying in shape despite having no team activities — because jumping back into action after a week on the couch could put some unwanted stress on tightened muscles.
“Next week is something that scares me every year. You get kids almost in shape in June and then you take a week off, get a week on, and then take a week off again. That’s a real quick way to lose conditioning and put kids at risk,” Till explained. “So they have to maintain their running next week, just to be safe by the time we come back.”
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Richmond Senior’s Dante Miller takes off down the sideline after hauling in a catch from Caleb Hood during Tuesday’s 7-on-7 with Marlboro County. Miller, a rising senior, will be the Raiders feature running back this upcoming season.
Rising junior Bobby Terry looks in a touchdown pass from Caleb Hood on the last play of Tuesday’s 7-on-7.