ROCKINGHAM — Another shot at two-time reigning state champs Wake Forest, a chance to end a three-year losing streak to Butler, and the annual end-of-the-year showdown with Scotland highlight the Richmond football team’s 2018 schedule.
All of the Raiders’ opponents will be the same from a year ago but head coach Bryan Till, who’s entering his second season with the program, believes the foes may have somewhat of the upperhand this time around.
“I think it is more an advantage for our opponents because they didn’t know what we were doing as a new staff.,” he said. “Otherwise, we trade enough film that I don’t see a big advantage to playing the same guys again.”
Richmond opens the season with a non-conference home game versus Reagan (Aug. 17) and then travels to non-conference foe Wake Forest the following week (Aug. 24) in hopes of handing the Cougars their first loss — if they were to win their season-opening game at Millbrook — since the 2015 season.
After returning home to host Pine Forest in Week 3 (Aug. 31), the Raiders will made the near hour-and-a-half trip to Matthews for their sixth consecutive regular-season battle with Butler in Week 4 (Sept. 7).
The last time they played at Butler, in 2016, they dropped a heartbreaking 42-41 decision.
“I think the whole non-conference (schedule) is huge leading into conference, but if you really want to win a state title you have to know you can beat state-title caliber teams like those guys,” Till said of Wake Forest and Butler.
“However, state-title teams don’t have let downs, so playing Reagan and Pine Forest with the same intensity we play Butler and Wake Forest will let us know how serious we are about contending,” he added. “If you’re a top team, you have to play well week in and week out or someone is going to knock you off.”
Richmond will have a bye in Week 5.
Sandhills Athletic Conference play consists of back-to-back away games at Purnell Swett (Sept. 21) and Pinecrest (Sept. 28), a couple of home contests versus Jack Britt (Oct. 5) and Hoke County (Oct. 12), and another two-game road stand with games at Lumberton (Oct. 19) and Seventy-First (Oct. 26).
The regular season wraps up Friday, Nov. 2, with the always-anticipated match between the Raiders and their archrival Scotland, which has won the last seven conference championships. This year, the rivalry game is expected to, as usual, bring a crowd of thousands out to Raider Stadium.
The first round of the 4A North Carolina High School Athletic Association Playoffs begin the following Friday (Nov. 9)
Listed below is the Richmond’s football team’s 2018 schedule and the start times for each contest. All games are scheduled for Fridays and home games are marked with an asterik:
Aug. 17 – vs Reagan (7:30 p.m.) *
Aug. 24 – at Wake Forest (7 p.m.)
Aug. 31 – vs. Pine Forest (7:30 p.m.) *
Sept. 7 – at Butler (7 p.m.)
Sept. 14 – Bye week
Sept. 21 – at Purnell Swett (7:30 p.m.)
Sept. 28 – at Pinecrest (7:30 p.m.)
Oct. 5 – vs. Jack Britt (7:30 p.m.) *
Oct. 12 – vs. Hoke (7:30 p.m.) *
Oct. 19 – at Lumberton (7:30 p.m.)
Oct. 26 – at Seventy-First (7:30 p.m.)
Nov. 2 – vs. Scotland (7:30 p.m.) *
Nov. 9 – First round of NCHSAA State Playoffs (TBD)
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.