ROCKINGHAM — There were a few other notable plays made during Thursday morning’s 7-on-7 with Cape Fear, but Dereck Barringer’s acrobatic interception in the early going was the one that energized the Raiders the most.
It was only the defensive unit’s third possession of the day and Barringer, a rising junior safety, found himself in a great position as the ball floated towards the end zone. He was able to go up and secure it — with the opposing wide receiver still in the area — and then landed on his back, before quickly getting up to celebrate with his teammates.
“I think those kind of plays are huge,” Richmond head coach Bryan Till said. “We play this game because we love the game, not because we just want to come out here and run around. So anytime we’re playing with great enthusiasm, I love it and we all have a lot more fun that way.”
The Richmond football team hosted the first of its five scheduled summer 7-on-7s early Thursday, finishing the near two-hour competition — although no score was taken — with more touchdowns (5) than the Colts (4).
Rising sophomore quarterback Caleb Hood connected with wideout Malik Stanback, rising senior, on a deep ball on the offense’s opening possesion. A few plays later, Hood found rising senior Jordyn Wall for the team’s first touchdown.
Wall scored again during the offensive unit’s fourth drive, this time catching a pass from Hood near the front of the end zone. Both Hood and Noah Altman, rising junior quarterback, would hook up with rising senior Preston Coker for a pair scores over the next few possesions before Hood’s touchdown pass to Bobby Terry, also a rising senior, ended the day.
Rising junior Justin Morman, wide receiver, caught a throw from Altman early and then followed that up with a difficult sideline catch moments later. Coker’s first reception of the day set up Wall’s second score.
“I think it went great. We got great competition out of those guys and we saw some really good things,” Till said. “Obviously, we’ve got plenty of things to work on, too, but overall, I thought we got exactly what we wanted to get out of it.”
Defensively, Till was happy with the way his starting group performed when they were on the field together. The Raiders started the 7-on-7 on defense and only allowed two short-yard completions before the offense took over for the first time.
Their second shot at defense — the possession prior to Barringer’s theft — also ended with an interception, as Richmond saw one of its cornerback rip the ball from the arms of a Cape Fear receiver as he was bringing the ball in.
The Colts, however, would score on their last four possesions, a streak that was started by back-to-back touchdown passes to Jaylen Hudson — a 6’4, 225-pound rising senior who normally lines up at the safety position.
“I thought our ones did really, really well. Some of our twos played well and some guys needs some work, we had some mixed reviews there, but I was pleased with our effort and communication,” he said. “We didn’t have a lot of communication busts today, which, this early on, is a really big deal — especially in the secondary.”
Richmond heads to N.C. State University for a varsity camp on Friday and will host two more 7-on-7 competitions next Tuesday (Cheraw and Fairmont) and Thursday (Cheraw and Marlboro County).
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.