A strong third quarter pushed Lancaster to a 35-14 win over Richland Northeast, and a 2-0 start to the season.
The matchup started off about as eventful as a 13 total-point first half can.
The half included a Lancaster interception on the opening drive, three fumbles between both teams, a Cavaliers’ touchdown with 23.1 seconds remaining in the second quarter, and 240 yards rushing combined for the teams’ running backs. But it ended with just 13 points on the scoreboard and Lancaster leading 7-6.
The Bruins struck first on the opening drive of the half with a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Darius Robinson that was set up by a big return from running back Farrika Grier.
A little more than five minutes later it was Robinson again, finding senior tight end James Killian in the end zone on a five-yard pitch and catch. The stunned Cavaliers couldn’t even manage to secure the ball on the following kickoff as the Bruins recovered a fumble on the return. With all the momentum in the world behind him, rumbling Bruins back Ant Foster took the ball 37 yards up the left sideline for a score. Unfortunately the play was called back on one of Lancaster’s eight fouls for 73 penalty yards.
It wouldn’t hurt the Bruins or Foster much as he scored on a 26-yard run two plays later and finished with 21 carries for 205 yards and three touchdowns.
The teams exchanged touchdowns in the fourth quarter but Lancaster’s big third period sealed the Cavaliers’ fate.
Lancaster went into the second half with just a one-point lead after being scored on in the closing minute of the first, but the Bruins quickly gained the momentum back with a 50-yard kick return by Grier to open the half. The return put the Bruins on the Cavaliers’ 25-yard line and the ensuing drive ended on a one-yard Robinson run. The Bruins scored two more touchdowns in the quarter for 21 unanswered points.
The Cavaliers were unable to challenge the Lancaster ground game, allowing 325 rushing yards and 6.9 yards per carry which included -18 rushing yards from Robinson.
Bruins starting O-linemen Charlie Ellis, Graham Thompson, Tyreese McCree, Lewis Johnson, and Caleb Funderburk paved the way for running backs Ant Foster and Farrika Grier to churn up 343 yards on the ground.
“We will take everything play by play. We’ll look at the things we have to correct and bring the team in on Monday. We have a big one against Pageland, what I call a cross-town rivalry,” said Lancaster coach Bobby Collins.
Richland Northeast 14, Lancaster 35
LHS – Ant Foster 14 run (Trevor Lathan kick) 1:17
RNHS – Matthew Anderson 85 pass from Aloysius Jackson (run failed) 23.1
LHS – Robinson 1 run (Lathan kick) 8:58
LHS – James Killian 5 pass from Robinson (Lathan kick) 3:41
LHS – Foster 26 run (Lathan kick) 1:05
RNHS – Davis 7 run (Jackson pass) 8:07
LHS – Foster 20 run (Lathan kick) 50.0
RUSHING Richland NE:Jackson 6-13; Davis 16-70; Moorer 9-61; Harmon 1-3. Lancaster: Foster 21-205; Grier 21-138; Robinson 5- -18;
PASSING Richland NE:Jackson 63-7-2-1; Davis 0-0-0-0 Lancaster: Robinson43-7-0-1
RECEIVING Richland NE:Anderson3-25; Davis 1-1; Smith 3-43, Howze 1-1. Lancaster: Tinsley 5-46; Killian 2-7
Richland Northeast 0-2; Lancaster 2-0
Lancaster travels to Central High School in Pageland Friday. Richland Northeast is at home against rival Spring Valley in Columbia.