The Raiders pulled away with a three-touchdown second quarter.
Seventy-First coach Duran McLaurin didn’t need long to identify what was missing from the Falcons’ performance in Thursday’s 49-14 loss to Richmond Senior.
And he didn’t need many words to describe it.
“No pride,” was his explanation. “From the first time Richmond drove down the field and scored, we hung our heads. No pride.”
The Raiders struck early and often inside Lloyd Auman stadium, walking away with a lopsided victory and sole possession of first place in the Sandhills 4-A Athletic Conference. They improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the league.
The Richmond offense spent the night wearing down the Falcons (7-2, 4-1) with a mix of short-range passes by sophomore quarterback Caleb Hood and healthy dose of running back Jaheim Covington.
Hood connected with Jakolbe Baldwin for a 4-yard touchdown pass to cap the Raiders’ opening drive, giving way to a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Covington finished the night with 23 carries for 168 yards and four touchdowns. He scored twice in the second quarter, which was part of a 21-point frame that put the game out of the Falcons’ reach.
“That separation was huge, and we could have had more separation because we had two turnovers that we didn’t score on,” Raiders’ coach Bryan Till said. “They (the Falcons) are so well-balanced that if you can get them one-dimensional, it’s going to help you a ton.”
Seventy-First struggled to gain yardage by any method, particularly in the first half when the Raiders held the Falcons to 104 yards of offense and a touchdown.
The Falcons were without leading rusher Sincere Bates, who injured his ankle in last week’s game against Purnell Swett, leaving the team to rush by committee.
The passing game, under the direction of senior quarterback Kyler Davis, never quite ignited either.
Davis finished the night 12 for 27 with an interception and 138 yards. He threw two touchdowns, connecting with Stephon Johnson in the first half and Camari Williams in the second.
Richmond is the lone team without a league loss, with games against Scotland and Purnell Swett left on their regular-season docket.
Covington said the Raiders have been motivated by the team’s lengthy conference championship drought, which dates back to 2011.
“We haven’t won the conference in eight years, and this is 2018,” the junior said. “So we’re going by the eights and saying this is our year.”
Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-609-0651.
RICHMOND SENIOR 49, SEVENTY-FIRST 14
RS — Jakolbe Baldwin 4 pass from Caleb Hood (Trevor Moss kick)
RS — Jaheim Covington 4 run (Moss kick)
SF — Stephon Johnson 20 pass Kyler Davis (Raymond Grate kick)
RS — Baldwin 23 pass from Hood (Moss kick)
RS — Covington 6 run (Moss kick)
RS — Covington 8 run (Moss kick)
SF — Camari Williams 9 pass from Davis (Grate kick)
RS — Covington 1 run (Moss kick)
RS — C.J. Tillman 75 fumble return (Moss kick)
Rushing: RS — Covington 23-168, Hood 11-88, Tillman 2-11, Jaron Coleman 6-14. SF — Davis 16-19, Devante Wedlock 9-31, Joseph Ferguson 13-100.
Passing: RS — Hood 8-18-1, 116. SF — Davis 12-27-1, 138.
Receiving: RS — Baldwin 2-52, Jordyn Wall 3-31, Dalton Stroman 1-16, Covington 1-11, Bobby Terry 1-6. SF — Williams 4-68, Joneek Manning 2-24, Thomas Hendricks 4-14, Jermaine Johnson 1-12.
Records: Richmond Senior 8-1, 5-0; Seventy-First 7-2, 4-1.