With Richland Northeast having its first-ever varsity home football game on the Cavaliers’ campus, there was a lot of excitement in the air during pre-game ceremonies. But unfortunately for the Cavaliers, the momentum didn’t convert into the action as they fell to Lancaster 20-6.
“We didn’t play well at all,” Richland Northeast coach Jay Frye said. “We had too many penalties and too many mistakes. We had four or five opportunities past the 50-yard line and we couldn’t capitalize on those chances. You just can’t make those mistakes against a team like that.”
The first quarter of action went well for the home team though they couldn’t put points on the board. The Cavalier defense held the Bruins’ offense for the duration of the quarter, not allowing a single first down. It was a similar story in the second period with the teams trading possessions. It looked like Lancaster was going to score early in the second quarter but quarterback Keendarius Truesdale threw a screen pass intended for Kadarius Wright that was tipped at the line and intercepted by sophomore linebacker Timothy Gibson.
Lancaster got the ball back on its own 35 after Richland Northeast went for it on fourth-and-9 but didn’t convert. The Bruins then took the ball 77 yards on a drive that featured mostly long runs by Wright and was capped off with an 11-yard Truesdale pass to wide receiver Jay Hood.
The Cavaliers looked like they might have a chance to tie it up heading into to halftime, but they had four plays from the 5-yard line and came away empty handed, giving Lancaster a 7-0 lead going into the break.
The second half saw more and more Cavalier opportunities slip by. After blocking a punt and recovering on the opponents’ 32-yard line, quarterback Eric Brown was intercepted on the next play by Will Jackson.
The game was essentially capped in the fourth quarter when Bruin running back Ferricka Grier scampered 8 yards down the middle to give the visitors a 20-0 lead.
Richland Northeast was able to put a touchdown on the board late when quarterback Simeon Kelly found Jeff Rhodon for 42 yards, but it was too little too late.
“It’s special,” said Lancaster coach Bobby Collins, whose team improved to 2-0. “Our kids fought through the crowd and survived the long ride up here. I’m excited for them, because they overcame a little adversity here tonight.”