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Evans' Ronnie Graham rushes for more than 200 yards in win over Richmond Academy

Evans 21, Richmond Academy 12

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Ronnie Graham played too well to have his night end with him walking off the field after a fumble.

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Evans' Ronnie Graham celebrates in the end zone after scoring. He rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns as the Knights won their season opener.  MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
MICHAEL HOLAHAN/STAFF
Evans' Ronnie Graham celebrates in the end zone after scoring. He rushed for 227 yards and three touchdowns as the Knights won their season opener.

Thanks to Evans’ defense, the running back returned to action to help close out the victory.

Graham rushed for 227 yards and the defense forced four turnovers as Evans beat Richmond Academy 21-12 on the road Thursday night.

“My defense helped me out, getting back onto the field,” said Graham, who also credited his linemen for his offensive performance.

Graham had three touchdowns, with his last making it a two-possession game.

His first two scores were also impressive.

After Richmond Academy’s C.J. Welcher finished a five-play drive with a 44-yard score on its first offensive series of the game, the Knights got a great kickoff return and Graham needed only one play to tie it, scoring on a 41-yard run.

A quarter later, Graham got the ball on a toss on third-and-long and turned it into an 80-yard touchdown. Once free, Graham cut perfectly to keep himself safe from defenders.

Graham had 129 yards on seven carries in the first half. He went on to add 98 in the second half.

Other than the big rushing plays, the offenses were quiet, especially in the passing game.

Neither squad passed for more than 50 yards. For the Musketeers, two different quarterbacks threw interceptions .

Following Welcher’s touchdown, Richmond Academy was quiet except for a short drive after an interception off of Evans quarterback Chandler Shoemaker. Welcher made it 14-12 on a 2-yard run in the third quarter.

But the Musketeers didn’t score again, putting up only 163 yards of offense.

“Really, we’re just trying to get 11 people to the football,” Evans coach Marty Jackson said. “Eleven people to the football overcomes a lot of issues.”

Quarterbacks Thomas Allison and Tony Daggett tried to get the Musketeers going – Welcher rushed for negative-1 yards in the second half after getting 90 in the first – but instead each threw two interceptions in the game.

“Last year we lost the first two and we turned out OK,” Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. “Turnovers killed us – they put us in a bad spot every time.”

EVANS 21, RICHMOND ACADEMY 12

PLAY OF THE GAME: Evans’ Ronnie Graham needed one touch to score his first touchdown, going 41 yards. But he almost doubled the length on his second score a quarter later.

STAR OF THE GAME: Graham rushed for 227 yards.

WHY EVANS WON: The Knights ran well offensively and made four interceptions on defense.

WHY RICHMOND ACADEMY LOST: The Musketeers couldn’t move the ball.

NEXT: Elbert County at Evans, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 14; Statesboro at Richmond Academy, 7:30 p.m., Sept. 7.

REPORT GAMES

High school coaches are encouraged to report their scores and statistics after tonight’s contests. Please call (706) 823-3349 or (706) 823-3337.

EVANS 21, RICHMOND ACADEMY 12

Evans 7 7 7 0 – 21

ARC 6 0 6 0 – 12

First Quarter

ARC-C.J. Welcher 44 run (pass failed), 9:52

E-Ronnie Graham 41 run (Jonathon White kick), 9:31

Second Quarter

E-Graham 80 run (White kick), 9:29

Third Quarter

ARC-Welcher 2 run (run failed), 9:34

E-Graham 16 run (White kick), 5:34

 

 EARC
First Downs109
Rushes-Yards39-23627-131
Passing Yards4432
Comp.-Att.-Int.3-7-17-18-4
Fumbles-Lost2-21-0
Punts-Yards6-2216-244
Penalties-Yards9-556-50

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Evans: Graham 24-227, Chandler Shoemaker 12-5, Joacinto Grimes 1-3, Stephon Jacobs 2-1; ARC: Welcher 14-90, Thomas Allison 9-38, Tony Daggett 2-2, Quentarious Ellis 2-1.

PASSING–Evans: Shoemaker 3-7-1 44; ARC: Allison 6-14-2 17, Daggett 1-4-2 15.

RECEIVING–Evans: Damian Foreman 1-26, Matlin Marshall 1-14, Justin Scruggs 1-4; ARC: Caleb Blackwood 2-14, Tre’ Lambert 2-9, Welcher 3-9.


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