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.