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Richmond and Thomson Prepare to Clash for the Region’s Top Spot

The Musketeers, 4-1 overall and 1-0 in region play, also overcame a 9 point second half deficit in a recent win over Evans. Coach Lyle Burns explains some of the measures his staff has implemented



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Rashad Williams – Richmond

“We know it’s a fourth quarter game… it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” 

That’s what running back Rashad Williams told me minutes after Richmond’s 20-10 victory over Harlem last Friday when I asked him how he and and the blockers who helped spring him loose for a game sealing fourth quarter touchdown seemed to get fresher as the game wore on. The 10 play, 80 yard scoring drive that ended with Williams scampering into the end zone from 10 yards out showed another example of Richmond’s endurance, something that’s unexpected from a roster with only 42 players.
The Musketeers, 4-1 overall and 1-0 in region play, also overcame a 9 point second half deficit in a recent win over Evans. Fourth year head coach Lyle Burns explained Tuesday in an email interview some of the measures his staff has implemented to help his players be at their best when it matters most:

“We have made a strong effort to peak and have plenty of gas in the tank on Fridays,” Burns explained. “We have a hydration and nutrition plan in place and several other recovery activities that we use… Our practice schedule has been manipulated a lot over the last couple of years to increase efficiency. A lot of this has been done to curb some disadvantages that we have.”

Stamina wasn’t the only factor displayed when Richmond clinched its first league win Friday on the road. Impressive execution, creative play calling and the use of several playmakers (including a pair of quarterbacks who regularly alternate behind center) who all possess different and complimentary abilities were also factors in the team’s success, as Burns explained: 

“First we have 2 running backs, Rashad Williams (Senior) and Jontavius Curry (So), that run very hard and a mobile QB in Maurice Freeman (So) along with Jackson Murphy’s (So) improvement throwing the ball. They all do something different very well. I think that keeps defenses honest and having to play more predictable alignments, which helps offensive linemen determine their assignment much easier. I think on both of those drives [including the game opening 68 yard drive that ended in an 11 yard touchdown toss from Murphy to Chris Murray (Sr)] we had some good play calls with advantageous formations and our linemen did a great job of executing.”

Richmond’s offense takes the field
(14) Maurice Freeman, (55) Donovan Stevens-Craig,
(50) Travon Heard, (2) Rashad Williams and
(16) Jackson Murphy

Thomson will pose a stiffer test this Friday

Class 3A, region 4 action will heat up considerably when Thomson (also 4-1 and 1-0), will visit the historic Frank Inman Field at ARC Stadium*, home of the Musketeers, in a game that will be televised live on MeTV. In addition to a rich tradition of winning, the Bulldogs might have the most complete team in the area. Much like Richmond, opponents have trouble from series to series, and even from play to play, figuring out which of Thomson’s playmakers will attack from what position.
Third year head coach Michael Youngblood summarized nicely Thomson’s dizzying array of weapons in an email exchange:

Tay Martin (Junior) is the catalyst of our offense. He is a playmaker whether at QB or WR and can be dynamic,” Youngblood started. “Jahkious Jones (Fr) being brought along at the QB position allows Tay and Ashton Perry (Jr) to be threats on the outside in the passing game while opening running lanes for Snoop Williams (Jr), Lilvasco Winfrey (Sr) and Kindarius Green (Jr) at the RB position.”

Snoop Williams – Thomson
A couple clips from Thomson’s only loss of the season, suffered at the hands of Ware Countywhich might be the best team in class 5A, illustrate the exciting plays Youngblood’s offensive weapons are capable of displaying:

Coach Youngblood also noted impact made by senior linebacker Skyler Lewis as well as the play in the trenches by defensive tackle Cam Wells (Sr) and offensive tackle DaiJuan Kendrick (Jr), adding that Kendrick (6-4, 284 lbs) “can be dominating.” After throwing in the fact that Winfrey led the state in kickoff return production (677 yards and 4 touchdowns in 28 returns), it’s easy to see the home team will have its most difficult challenge of the season so far when two programs meet up at a storied site with the top spot in the region standings on the line.
*I highly recommend this Augusta Chronicle article by Will Cheney for anybody wanting to learn about the historical significance of Frank Inman Field at ARC Stadium:

Exploring 90 years of Richmond Academy Stadium, Augusta’s cherished football venue


[Livestream] Grovetown vs Evans in Region Battle for Playoff Position

Evans hosts Grovetown and looks to avenge their buzzer beater loss to the Warriors on January 22nd.



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“Sophomore Malik Ferguson picked up a loose ball in the middle of the paint with one second remaining, and right before the fourth quarter buzzer sounded, he released a shot that found its mark to give Grovetown 61-60 win over Evans Friday, a result that threw the top spot in the class 6A, region 5 standings into a three way tie between Grovetown, Evans and Heritage to mark the beginning of the stretch run for the league’s regular season championship. Ferguson’s shot came at the end of a full court dash by Grovetown after head coach Darren Douglas was able to draw up a play during a timeout that was meant to result in a bucket in only six seconds. The play was designed for senior Zach Bell, who eventually fumbled the ball after spinning between defenders at the end of a drive that began near half court after he gathered the ball from freshman Derrion Reid.”

That was Chad Cook’s rundown of the instant classic that these two teams played two weeks ago. That win by Grovetown sets up a must-win scenario for Evans as they look to maintain their footing in the race for a region championship.

Be sure to get your ? ready early because if tonight’s game is as exciting as the last one, you just might forget those jokers altogether!

Streams will be posted here. Tip-off times are as follows:
Girls – 6:30 PM
Boys – 8:00 PM

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