Knights' defense keeps Musketeers out of end zone

With the game on the line late, Evans defensive tackle Kyle Henderson and his teammates knew who was going to get the ball.

 

It was just a matter of stopping Richmond Academy quarterback Drek Reid.

Evans twice held Reid at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, and the Knights rode their big-play defense to a season-opening 9-5 win over the Musketeers at Frank Inman Field.

Richmond Academy is kicking itself after its offense scored just three points in four red-zone trips. The Musketeers, who had a touchdown called back because of holding, failed to punch it in twice inside the 10.

Reid led Richmond Academy's rushing attack with 126 yards on 33 carries; he also went 5 for 16 passing for 66 yards with an interception.

With the Musketeers having three shots to take the lead from the Evans 2 with less than six minutes remaining, Reid managed just one yard.

On second down, he scrambled left and stretched for the goal line, coming up short. On third down from the 1, Reid failed to score off left guard. Then on fourth down, the Knights sniffed out the play, stuffing Reid's rushing attempt up the middle.

"We already kind of guessed who was going to get it," Henderson said. "We just kind of keyed in on him."

Evans' offense generated just 166 total yards and eight first downs. The Knights scored on one of their two red zone trips. Will Scott's 5-yard scoring run in the first half was the difference.

"It wasn't pretty," Evans coach Marty Jackson said. "But there's nothing wrong with an ugly win."

The game featured two safeties and a slew of penalties on each side. The Knights grabbed the early momentum when defensive end Brandon Adams tackled Richmond Academy's Don Quarles for an 8-yard loss in the end zone.

After the safety, Scott returned the kickoff 30 yards. Then, Michael Gaines hauled in a 36-yard reception from Glenn Cassedy. Three plays later, Scott punched it in to give Evans a 9-0 lead.

Richmond Academy responded late in the first half with a 22-yard Joseph Ardrey field goal.

In the shadow of its own end zone late in the game, Evans intentionally snapped the ball out of the end zone for a safety.

"With our offensive power, we know we should've won," Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. "But give Marty and Evans all the credit. They outplayed us."

Evans 9, Richmond Acad. 5

PLAY OF THE GAME: With 4:10 to go, Evans' defensive line stuffed Drek Reid 's fourth-down sneak from the 1-yard line.

STAR OF THE GAME: Evans' Brandon Adams , who recorded a first-half safety that gave the Knights a lead they never lost.

Why EvANS won: The Knights held the Musketeers to just three points in four red-zone trips.

WHY RICHMOND ACADEMY LOST: The Musketeers looked too one-dimensional at times, with Reid accounting for 45 of 57 plays.

Next: Grovetown at Evans, 7:30 p.m., Friday; Richmond Academy at Greenbrier, 7:30 p.m., Friday.

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