As Chris Hughes prepared his Richmond Academy team for Friday night’s pivotal region matchup with Grovetown, he had a single goal above all others.
“We were going to stack the box … because they haven’t thrown the ball well all season,” the coach said. “We were going to stop (Jamal) Cummings.”
The plan worked, as visiting Richmond Academy bottled up the standout junior back in a 21-0 shutout of Grovetown.
In what Hughes called his team’s “best game all year,” particularly on defense, the Musketeers limited Cummings to 20 yards on 12 carries and sophomore Terrell Hughes to 31 yards on six carries.
“Cummings and Hughes are both deadly running backs,” Chris Hughes stressed. “So our plan was to stop them and make them beat us throwing the ball.”
Richmond Academy (4-4, 3-1) vaulted into a tie with Grovetown (6-2, 3-1) in Region 3-AAA North.
The Musketeers limited Grovetown to 144 rushing yards, with 101 coming on a pair of long runs by quarterback Travon Biggers.
He played the entire game under center in place of Hunter Peace, who was out with an undisclosed injury.
While Biggers ran for a total of 93 yards after losses, the Warriors passing game struggled. He finished 4 of 11 for 23 yards, and a last-ditch pass by Cummings on a halfback pass play was intercepted.
Grovetown committed nine second-half penalties for 68 yards.
Despite out-gaining the Warriors 199-36 in total yardage before halftime, the Musketeers scored only once in the half.
The second-quarter score came on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Thomas Allison to Anthony Williams.
With its defense dominating, Richmond Academy was content running the clock and relying on big ground gains. The Musketeers totaled 282 yards on 39 carries.
Diquan Washington, who also plays defensive end, had 94 yards rushing and 26 receiving.
“Richmond played a great football game tonight,” Grovetown head coach Rodney Holder said. “They beat us on our home field. They took it to us.”