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Chris Hughes

Observations on Richmond County following 3-0 start

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I came away impressed with Richmond following last night's 42-14 victory over Butler, but the Raiders still have room for improvement before the postseason begins.  Yes, they looked impressive against a Charlotte-Mecklenburg team, but despite the lopsided display on the scoreboard, they did struggle at times, and missed out on some scoring opportunities. 

Now some of those struggles were caused by the scrappy play of Butler, but we also have to acknowledge the fact that as solid a team as the Bulldogs have, they are not the dominant 4AA powerhouse that they've been in recent years, and Brian Hales' team was missing about six players who were dressed out in street clothes due to injuries.

My first major takeaway was the vast improvement in junior quarterback Caleb Hood.  He has bulked up considerably, and makes sick looking moves when he runs with the ball, and at times makes defenders look silly.  I don't have the final stat tally, but I'm almost certain that he accounted for 300+ yards from my unofficial notes. 

He wasn't as sharp passing, but he was very dangerous when he got out of the pocket, extending plays. 

I felt that both lines were very strong, especially the defensive front, but the overall strength of this team still continues to be their blistering speed and quickness.  The entire receiving corps showed the capabilities of running past the secondary, and when they weren't getting big-hitters on slant and post routes, they were great blockers for the bruising running game, which has been a staple of Greg Williams coached receivers at Richmond. 

Jaheim Covington looks really strong as well, and is a real tough, downhill runner that likes running to contact, and getting extra yards. 

Overall, I think this is a team that can post an undefeated regular season, but I still feel the biggest question mark will be whether they can get through the CMS gauntlet of teams like Vance, Myers Park and Mallard Creek.  I think a lot of people would love to see them go East and face a Charlotte team in the state finals (I would like to see that too).

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3 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

Can they defend a vertical team.? Not gonna find out until November .

Truthfully, I think that they can defend a vertical team.  In fact, I don't think defense is their primary question mark, because they've really got better from last year.  The front four was getting pressure on Butler all night, and the linebackers are strong, scrape well to get through the gaps, and the secondary is quick and well coached. 

With that said, Drake May was able to carve them up last November, primarily because of his quick release, which almost nullified the Raiders pass rush, but he is a special talent and we all know that. 

My biggest concern is that the offense is a little too reliant on Hood. I know they have a very capable backup quarterback, but he's not Caleb Hood, and Hood is a difference maker.  I wasn't exactly keen on some of the offensive play calls, but that's more of a philosophy thing on my end, and no shot at Till or his staff.  Only they know their team and what they can do, or can not do.  I am not in their coaching meetings so I won't pretend to know what is best for them, but I'm just not a fan of some of the quick pitches (almost forward basketball passes) and prefer seeing runners get down hill. 

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I will tell you what I do like though.  From the moment the team got off the bus behind their field house at Raider Stadium, they were all business.  The players, the coaches, the entire team got off the bus, and ran straight on the field.  During warmups, there were no kids goofing around, everyone was business-like, and there were few wasted movements.  

And during halftime, when I was behind the field house where the team was assembled, the coaches were calmly engaged in making adjustments with their position groups, and when the staff met, they were working on fixing mistakes, instead of just yelling or screaming, and that was at a point of the game where they only led 15-7, and it had become obvious that Butler had taken the momentum. 

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Just now, scotswin said:

The Raiders will not go undefeated in the regular season. 

I'm assuming that the Scots will stand in their way?  For the record, I wouldn't be shocked, or surprise if that was the case. 

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The conference has several good teams this year other than Scotland, you will have to bring it

4-5 of the 7 weeks..

Pinecrest,Seventy Frist, Britt, Scotland, Richmond

Hoke looks more dangerous this year

Lumberton, Swett cellar

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7 minutes ago, scotswin said:

The conference has several good teams this year other than Scotland, you will have to bring it

4-5 of the 7 weeks..

I don't see anyone in this league capable of beating Richmond other than Scotland.  Yes, Seventy-First is good, but they aren't that level this year, especially breaking in a new quarterback, and I don't see Jack Britt on that level either.  Of course Pinecrest plays Richmond tough every year, but the Patriots aren't as strong as last season either, and that leaves Lumberton, who looks better, but they aren't close to Richmond's league (or Scotland's either).  As for Hoke, I'll believe it when I see it, although talent has never been an issue for the Bucks. 

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Richmond will dominate their conference.

Mallard  Creek, Myers Park, Vance, and West Forsyth will be the competition in 4AA.

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1 minute ago, btango said:

Richmond will dominate their conference.

Mallard  Creek, Myers Park, Vance, and West Forsyth will be the competition in 4AA.

All in the west.....smh

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2 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

All in the west.....smh

Don't sleep on Leesville Road, Rolesville, and of course Wake Forest.  But I agree that the power in the 4AA all lies in the West this year.  

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I was looking at them in the west again which, in my opinion, would greatly limit their chances to play an eastern school.

If they go east I would expect them to be the favorite to in the regional title game.  This could very well be Leesville Road's year to make a title game appearance. 

Wake Forest is down but not out.  Their demise is overly exaggerated.  They will be a tough out in the playoffs. 

Rolesville's schedule gets a little tougher so we will get a better insight the next few weeks.

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14 hours ago, btango said:

Richmond will dominate their conference.

Mallard  Creek, Myers Park, Vance, and West Forsyth will be the competition in 4AA.

We'll see about that!!!!

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55 minutes ago, scots roll said:

We'll see about that!!!!

I hope it is a knock down dragout game!

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Oh it will be...We will be lucky to be undefeated when that game comes..I think we possibly can , if we dont have any major injuries along the way...Hopefully the Scots will be in the same boat also..Right now we have Cardinal Gibbons standing in  the way....Then we get a much needed week off to prepare for the Conference..Jack Britt, 71st, Pinecrest, all stand in the way for us and the Scots...Long way to go , but I sure hope thats the way it turns out....Defense giving up less than 6 pts a game and the O scoring on the average of 45 a game...We doing something right...Thats in 10 quarters...GO RAIDERS..

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13 minutes ago, btango said:

I hope it is a knock down dragout game!

Dont sleep in Scotland edp if Richmond cty is a one horse show (Hood). From what I'm hearing hes the offense for the team. If ur gonna win state u cant have one man doing everything. Getting ur head bashed in by MP, MC, Vance in the playoffs will take a toll. Having Scotland in the last game of the season wont help.

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15 hours ago, Chris Hughes said:

Don't sleep on Leesville Road, Rolesville, and of course Wake Forest.  But I agree that the power in the 4AA all lies in the West this year.  

You are absolutely right about Leesville. If the offense line can stay healthy and intact they have a shot at any of the other teams mentioned. If they lose just one piece in that line though it could be trouble for Leesville.

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22 minutes ago, 704cougarsdad said:

Dont sleep in Scotland edp if Richmond cty is a one horse show (Hood). From what I'm hearing hes the offense for the team. If ur gonna win state u cant have one man doing everything. Getting ur head bashed in by MP, MC, Vance in the playoffs will take a toll. Having Scotland in the last game of the season wont help.

 Right about one horse team not winning state but they have a few weapons to give him help....that Dominate the conference thing though had me spit my drink all over this desktop. SMH. 

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1 hour ago, 704cougarsdad said:

Dont sleep in Scotland edp if Richmond cty is a one horse show (Hood). From what I'm hearing hes the offense for the team. If ur gonna win state u cant have one man doing everything. Getting ur head bashed in by MP, MC, Vance in the playoffs will take a toll. Having Scotland in the last game of the season wont help.

James Summers ring a bell.  

I think they have better pieces around him than Page had around Summers although I do not think the RC O Line is as strong.  A good stable of running backs, really fast, aggressive wideouts.  A lot of the plays come from awesome athletic plays by the receiving corp.  That is what I noticed last year.  Did not have as many touches this year.  The O is nice.  I am not sure how they handle the Vance and MC defenses.  Think Hood has trouble against them finding space to make the fifteen to forty yard runs he made Friday.

It's going to be interesting this season and especially next.  Richmond has a very strong sophomore and junior class.

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20 hours ago, scotswin said:

The Raiders will not go undefeated in the regular season. 

1.  You Scots are just upset that the Raiders have started a new streak remember the last one...

2.  And raider1 you think the Raiders are lucky (SMH).  What have you seen that leads you to believe luck will be involved?

3.  If any luck is involved someone will be lucky to have beat the Raiders in conference play (hang it on the locker room wall).

4.  One horse show my aching butt - that's what everyone needs to do is just game plan for #5.

5.  I anxiously await RD28327's conference picks.

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3 hours ago, btango said:

James Summers ring a bell.  

I think they have better pieces around him than Page had around Summers although I do not think the RC O Line is as strong.  A good stable of running backs, really fast, aggressive wideouts.  A lot of the plays come from awesome athletic plays by the receiving corp.  That is what I noticed last year.  Did not have as many touches this year.  The O is nice.  I am not sure how they handle the Vance and MC defenses.  Think Hood has trouble against them finding space to make the fifteen to forty yard runs he made Friday.

It's going to be interesting this season and especially next.  Richmond has a very strong sophomore and junior class.

We dont speak of James Summers

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U just know to much football raiderfan......I give up.......I will say this , if U knew anything about the game U would stay quiet about the blowouts or whatever U call them....Any team that makes it 

 to the State Championship must have some LUCK...Ask any coach that,.or any knowledgeable fan .....But everyone has their own opinion and U can have yours.....Go RAIDERS.....

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6 hours ago, btango said:

I hope it is a knock down dragout game!

I believe the word was dominate  (have a commanding influence on) above which doesn't indicate knock down dragout to me. 

I will agree with knock down dragout though, (marked by extreme violence or bitterness)

Its the way Scotland will win if it happens. 

Then shake hands when its over.....

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5 hours ago, btango said:

James Summers ring a bell.  

I think they have better pieces around him than Page had around Summers although I do not think the RC O Line is as strong.  A good stable of running backs, really fast, aggressive wideouts.  A lot of the plays come from awesome athletic plays by the receiving corp.  That is what I noticed last year.  Did not have as many touches this year.  The O is nice.  I am not sure how they handle the Vance and MC defenses.  Think Hood has trouble against them finding space to make the fifteen to forty yard runs he made Friday.

It's going to be interesting this season and especially next.  Richmond has a very strong sophomore and junior class.

He is not as big and physical as Summers but is a much better pure passer. Watching those Anson DBs trying to play press coverage was just painful.

Reminds me a little of the Ladowski kid from Lake Norman 4-5 years back.

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43 minutes ago, Wrigley said:

He is not as big and physical as Summers but is a much better pure passer. Watching those Anson DBs trying to play press coverage was just painful.

Reminds me a little of the Ladowski kid from Lake Norman 4-5 years back.

Good call.  Think 2019 edition of Hood is probably 205 or 210 pounds.  He is thicker and stronger than Ladowski.  I think the receivers at Richmond are impressive! Fast, quick, not as rangy as some in the past.  

RC is a year older but I still scratch my head about the Myers Park game last season.  

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19 hours ago, ARaiderFan said:

1.  You Scots are just upset that the Raiders have started a new streak remember the last one...

2.  And raider1 you think the Raiders are lucky (SMH).  What have you seen that leads you to believe luck will be involved?

3.  If any luck is involved someone will be lucky to have beat the Raiders in conference play (hang it on the locker room wall).

4.  One horse show my aching butt - that's what everyone needs to do is just game plan for #5.

5.  I anxiously await RD28327's conference picks.

GO SCOTS!!!!!

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