With his team down by a wide margin at halftime, Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes simply wanted his team to show some fight.
While Wayne County went on to defeat the Musketeers, 49-17, Hughes said he liked what he saw the final two quarters.
“We just challenged them to come out and play with heart,” he said. “At that point, the score really doesn’t matter. I think we grew up in the second half, our young kids grew up. The second half could be a statement for the rest of the year.”
At 2-3 overall (1-1 in Region 3B-AAAA), Richmond Academy finds itself in the same spot midway through the season as it did a year ago. After Friday’s loss, Hughes told his team, which graduated 25 seniors, to enjoy the weekend away from football. Richmond Academy has a bye before playing Burke County on Oct. 11.
When the Musketeers return to practice Tuesday they’ll try to correct mistakes like they made in the first quarter. Wayne County opened the game with a successful onsides kick. Six plays later, Krenwick Sanders hauled in a 19-yard touchdown pass from Malique Jackson.
Richmond Academy proceeded to fumble on its first play from scrimmage. The Musketeers ran two plays on their second drive before losing another fumble. Each time, Jackson made Richmond Academy pay for the turnovers, throwing touchdown passes of 29 and 28 yards to Sanders. Less than four minutes into the game, Wayne County (5-0) led 21-0.
Jackson threw his fourth touchdown pass at the end of the quarter to extend the lead to 28.
“They played fast,” Musketeers lineman Willie Yarbary said. “Their intensity was high. They just got after it. And we made some mistakes. We just have to go back and watch film and get things corrected.”
In the final three quarters, Wayne County outscored Richmond Academy 21-17. Britto Tutt scored on a 21-yard pass from Tony Daggett, while Travis Beatty added a 10-yard scoring run for each of the Musketeers touchdowns.
WAYNE COUNTY 49, RICHMOND ACAD. 17
PLAY OF THE GAME: After the Yellow Jackets recovered their second Musketeers fumble, Krenwick Sanders caught a 28-yard scoring pass to stake Wayne County to a 21-0 less than four minutes in.
STAR OF THE GAME: Jackson threw four touchdown passes in the first quarter to lead the Yellow Jackets.
WHY WAYNE COUNTY WON: Yellow Jackets’ aerial attack couldn’t be stopped, with Jackson throwing for 225 yards.
WHY RICHMOND ACADEMY LOST: The Musketeers lost two fumbles in the first quarter and didn’t get on track offensively until it was too late.
NEXT: Richmond Academy at Burke County, Oct. 11.
Wayne County 49, Richmond Academy 17
Wayne County 28 7 7 7 – 49
Richmond Acad. 0 7 7 3 – 17
WC–Krenwick Sanders 19 pass from Malique Jackson (Hux Riddle kick), 10:06
WC–Sanders 29 pass from Jackson (Riddle kick), 9:25
WC–Sanders 28 pass from Jackson (Riddle kick), 8:22
WC–Cameron Brown 28 pass from Jackson (Riddle kick), :10.4
ARC–Britto Tutt 21 pass from Tony Daggett (Gardner Duckworth kick), 7:16
WC–Sanders 18 run (Riddle kick), 4:11
WC–Anfernee Jordan 1 run (Riddle kick), 7:24
ARC–Travis Beatty 10 run (Duckworth kick), 5:49
ARC–Duckworth 31 FG, 3:35
WC–Sanders 78 pass from Jackson (Riddle kick), 3:04
RUSHING–Wayne County: Warren Washington 2-15, A.J. McGill 7-74, Tyler Jenkins 1-(-15), Anfernee Jordan 8-52, Christian Mackey 6-47, Cameron Brown 1-9, Malique Jackson 5-31, Krenwick Sanders 1-18, Walker Franklin 1-(-2). Richmond Academy: Tony Daggett 16-15, Travis Beatty 7-33, Zac Mitchell 2-3, Britto Tutt 3-13.
PASSING–Wayne County: Malique Jackson 11-20-0 225. Richmond Academy: Tony Daggett 13-27-0 132.
RECEIVING–Wayne County: Cameron Brown 3-35, Krenwick Sanders 6-173, Walker Franklin 1-0, Joseph Worley 1-17. Richmond Academy: Tutt 5-93, Christian Barnes 3-21, Beatty 3-12, Mitchell 1-0, Devon Corbo 1-6.