ROCKINGHAM — It will be uncharted territory for the Richmond Senior football team in the opening round of the state 4AA playoffs.
For the first time in its 41-year history, Richmond will square off with Lake Norman on the gridiron.
The Raiders are 8-3 on the season and have dropped their final two contests — Pinecrest (21-7) and Scotland (49-14). They finished third in the Southeastern Conference with a 3-2 record.
The Wildcats are 8-3 and had their seven-game winning streak snapped in a 35-31 loss at Mooresville. They were second in the North Piedmont Conference to Mooresville with a 6-1 mark.
Richmond earned the No. 11 seed in the West Region, while Lake Norman was able to snag the sixth seed.
“We have never been there before,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “It is definitely going to be a different type of atmosphere. I am excited about that.”
The winner of Friday’s game between the two schools will take on the survivor of the Page-Northwest Guilford contest in the second round. If Richmond were to pull out the win and if Page was to take out Northwest Guilford, then Richmond would return to Raider Stadium for the second round. However, if the Vikings were to win, then the Raiders would be on the road.
“I’m not looking past this week because we have to get past Lake Norman first,” Hoggard said. “I hope we play with the same effort we played with Friday. We made some costly mistakes that didn’t allow us to be very competitive.”
Quarterback spot still up for grabs
Following Monday morning’s practice, Hoggard said Tyler Calhoun, who led the junior varsity team to a 10-0 record, and Luke Hoggard, who directed the ninth-grade squad to a 7-0 mark, will be competing for the starting quarterback job against Lake Norman.
Calhoun has yet to attempt a varsity pass this season, while Luke Hoggard misfired on his only attempt. Calhoun has rushed six times for 14 yards and Luke Hoggard has one carry for four yards
Three-year starter Brent Flowers attended practice but was in street clothes following his hand surgery last week. Flowers isn’t expected to practice or play this week.
Hoggard added Montek Johnson, who started against Lumberton and Scotland, will be returning to wide receiver. Johnson also played the majority of the Pinecrest contest after Flowers was injured midway through the first quarter.
Scotland earns top seed in 4A East
Three-time SEC champion Scotland grabbed the No. 1 seed when the 4A East brackets were released Saturday afternoon. Pinecrest, this season’s runner-up, earned the No. 4 seed in 4AA East Region.
Scotland (11-0) will have home-field advantage throughout the postseason and will face Heritage(6-5) in the first round. Pinecrest (10-1) will welcome Laney (6-4) to John Williams Stadium.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.