Raiders Roll Into Town Tonight
The last time the Pinecrest football team entertained Richmond Senior in 2009, Raphael Alston put the Patriots ahead with a 66-yard return of the opening kickoff.
The roar of the crowd was deafening beyond anything heard before or since, although the reaction to Travis Scales’ final-minute 40-yard touchdown pass to Steven Kennedy that beat Purnell Swett 23-20 last week hit pretty high on the decibel count as well.
“That was an exciting time,” coach Chris Metzger said on Wednesday, reminded of the Alston dash. “Nevertheless, as we go into this game it’s a much different flavor. It’s the second game in our new season. We’re fighting for our lives, playing another storied Richmond team.”
Back in 2009, both teams were 8-1 going into the game. The Patriots led 35-34 late in the third period before the Raiders went wild, scoring 35 unanswered points to win 69-35. The year before was marked by the Pats’ monumental 31-28 victory over the Raiders in Rockingham. Last season’s game was a 51-7 blowout for the Raiders.
The Patriots broke a three-game losing streak with the win over Purnell Swett and take a 4-5 overall and 1-2 record in the Southeastern Conference into this one. The tied-for-seventh Raiders (AP poll) are 7-1 and 2-1. Their only loss was 24-21 to Hoke County. The kickoff on senior night is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Against a Raider team that is averaging more than 40 points per game, the Patriots will need some big plays like the one by Alston two years ago and last week’s hookup between Scales and Kennedy. And they need to limit their mistakes and big plays by the visitors.
They can also hope that the Raiders get caught looking ahead to next week’s mega-game against undefeated Scotland High — something Richmond coach Paul Hoggard is no doubt making sure does not happen.
“They’re battled-tested and firing on all cylinders,” Metzger said of tonight’s opponent. “They run the triple option from the gun and they’re going to pound the ball and pound the ball. Their kids look the same — new faces, new names, same results.”
The Patriot coach describes his team as healthy as it has been in some time. Linebacker Frankie Painter, who injured his hip on the last play of the Purnell Swett game, is not expected to be available.
More like this story