While the final score wasn’t what members of the Raider Nation wanted against Jack Britt, the contest should be remembered as a classic.
Well at least on one side of the ball — as both teams combined to rack up more than 1,000 yards of total offense and 108 points.
After one of the game’s 15 touchdowns, one of the officials joked while he was trying to catch his breath “the last team with the ball is going to win.”
He was nearly right.
A peek into the stats shows the Raiders and the Buccaneers were locked up in a contest which football purists who enjoy 7-6 slugfests would despise.
Richmond was so efficient on offense against Jack Britt, it may have been scoring too quickly. The average touchdown drive for the Raiders was four plays, 63 yards and taking just under two minutes off the clock.
The only empty possessions on the night for Richmond was a punt in the first quarter, an interception in the second quarter and the final drive.
It took a little longer for the Buccaneers to score, but not much. Their average scoring drive was seven plays, 73 yards and consuming 3:17 off the clock. Like the Raiders, they had three possessions without putting any points on the board, but didn’t commit any turnovers in the contest.
Quarterback Mark McRae was in a zone for Jack Britt, hitting 21 of 26 passes for 345 yards and five touchdowns. In the second half, McRae missed his first attempt, then completed his final 11 passes, including the game-winning throw to Jalen McDaniel with 25 seconds remaining.
McDaniel was McRae’s favorite target, reeling in eight catches for 180 yards and three touchdowns.
McRae had a hand in all seven of the Buccaneers’ offensive touchdowns, rushing for the other two. McRae finished the night with 425 yards of total offense.
Their other score came on a 65-yard interception return by Cedric Williams.
While McRae was seemingly a one-man force under center for Jack Britt, Flowers was just as effective. The junior rushed for 171 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns.
Flowers wasn’t the only Raider runner to find plenty of open space in the ground game. Dakwa Nichols closed out his career with 177 yards on 11 touches and three scores. Diquon Cox just missed joining his teammates in hitting the 100-yard mark in the game, running for 96 on six carries.
Together the trio ran for 444 yards on 35 carries.
A staggering 12.7 yards per attempt. Just another eye-popping statistic from the contest.
When the final horn sounded, there was a sense of let them keep playing because it was incredible watching both teams execute their offenses to near perfection.
Plus, neither school deserved to be eliminated that night.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.