ROCKINGHAM — With the regular season opener more than a week away, Richmond Senior football coach Paul Hoggard likes the way his team is preparing for Rocky River.
Richmond battled South View in a scrimmage Wednesday morning in its first live-action against an opponent with officials this summer. Earlier in the week Richmond did stand toe-to-toe with a foe as South Johnston came to town for a dual-team practice.
“I thought it was a typical first scrimmage, the thing I liked about it is we lined up pretty good,” Hoggard said. “We were pretty smooth, but the little fundamental things that are going to happen this time of year were there. The only thing that is going to fix that is time. Overall I was pretty pleased.
“I think we’re making progress. I felt like we made progress from South Johnston on Monday to South View today. Hopefully we will continue that on Friday.”
In the early part of the scrimmage, both teams’ first-unit offenses were limited to 10 plays, while the second-stringers got eight snaps during a possession. Richmond found the end zone twice with its top offense in and another time with the backups.
Hoggard wasn’t concerned about what some would might view as a lack of offense during this portion of the scrimmage. Players were being shuffled in and out of the lineup as the coaches were seeing how they would react in different situations.
“We were playing a bunch of people and there were certain things we wanted to look at,” Hoggard said. “It’s not so much that we were trying to score, but we were trying to look at different things. I thought we moved the ball effectively. Scoring-wise I guess it’s always the goal to score more than the other team. You always want to win. In a scrimmage setting it is more of seeing different personnel groupings and running different plays to try and get a look at a wide variety of things.”
After working on goal-line situations, the Raiders and Tigers played a “normal” game as each squad had three possessions to try and score. During this time, Richmond scored twice, once on an offensive fumble recovery in the end zone and another on a touchdown scamper by Quientel Goodwin.
Hoggard thought his quarterbacks Luke Hoggard and Tyler Calhoun played well in their opportunities leading the offense.
“The thing that people are going to have to remember about Luke is that he is a sophomore,” Hoggard said. “He’s been around it for a long time, even though he hasn’t been playing varsity very much, but a very limited amount (of time). Everybody kind of thinks of him almost like a senior-type because he’s been around here forever. We are going to have to remember as coaches he is a sophomore and he is going to make mistakes. I thought today he really handled the offense well. I thought he and Tyler did a good job.”
South View was held scoreless by Richmond’s new look 3-4 defense during the first half of the scrimmage as well as during game play. Hoggard thought his defense looked good and was pleased with the effort especially with several linemen being forced to play on both sides of the ball. He believes the unit has a chance to do well this season, but knows the fortunes will rely how well the line plays.
“A lot of it is going to depend on how well our big guys hold up,” Hoggard said. “We have a lot of big guys going both ways that are having to play a lot of snaps on both sides of the ball. If we can get them in shape enough to do it and they can hold up and play, I think we have a chance to be pretty good because of our speed is pretty good.”
Richmond will participate in one final scrimmage starting at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Dudley in Greensboro.
JV battled South View as well
Richmond junior varsity coach Jason Norton was also pleased with his team’s performance against South View.
“I thought the effort was great, but the execution was OK,” Norton said. “We will have to keep working to get better.”
The JV Raiders were able to break several long runs for touchdowns against the Tigers.
“Our guys up front blocked well and so did the wide receivers,” Norton said. “And the backs made some moves. The penalties weren’t high, maybe two or three holding penalties. That’s pretty good.”
Reach sports editor Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671 or on Twitter @scgolfer.