ROCKINGHAM — Three games, three wins and three interceptions returned for touchdowns.
The Richmond Senior football team may not have executed every play to perfection, but the Raiders did what was necessary in order to come out on top of the scrimmages held Wednesday at the school’s practice fields.
“We’re learning who can do what in a pressure situation, meaning who’s going to be the 1, 2, or the 3 on the depth chart — and that’s what this is all about,” coach Mike Castellano said. “I believe every single guy here got a bunch of reps and now we can evaluate them and see who can bring what to the program.”
Richmond’s matchups against Millbrook (Raleigh), Reagan (Pfafftown) and Cleveland (Clayton) were highlighted by three defensive plays that resulted in points for the Raiders’ defense.
“We tell our defensive guys that we can score and we can make plays, too,” Castellano said after last Thursday’s practice. “It’s not just offensive guys that can do that. So we want guys that buy in to it and do it as one unit.”
And they did just that.
With Reagan’s offense just yards away from tying the game up, senior linebacker Deandre Streeter jumped the opposing receiver’s route, picked off the pass and raced 100 yards for a score.
Brian Little and Sahmad Anderson each intercepted a pass and found the end zone during the Cleveland scrimmage .
Offensively, Dante Miller and Damontre Bennett used their speed out of the backfield to put points on the board, while Cymontre Bennett, Steven Jones and Jaleen Baldwin scored as receivers in Richmond’s last two games.
“It was good plays in there, but it was a lot of bad plays, too,” Castellano added. “So, we now have to work to clean up the bad plays.”
Against Cleveland, Cymontre Bennett scored another touchdown on a screen pass from quarterback Leon Zeigler, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty. Junior Marquis Simmons then intercepted a pass, but that play was also reversed because of a late hit on the quarterback.
“I want to see improvement. We want to get our here and go through the little things about the game that you don’t realize,” Castellano said. “Once we do that and clean some things up, we’re hoping on Friday we have a lot better execution.”
Friday, on the main field, Richmond will host an all-day jamboree that will include Walkertown, South Stanley, Purnell Swett, East Montgomery, Jack Britt, Wakefield, Northern Guilford and East Rowan.
Games begin at 12:45 and there is a $5 admission fee.
The Ninth-Grade Academy’s football team will kick things off for the Raiders at 1:30 p.m., as it goes up against East Rowan’s junior varsity team. That will be its only game of the day.
Richmond Senior’s junior varsity team will start its day against Jack Britt at 3 p.m. It will then face Walkertown at 4:30 p.m. and South Stanley at 5:15 p.m.
The action for Richmond’s varsity squad will begin at 6:45 p.m. when it takes on Jack Britt — a future league opponent due to conference realignments. The Raiders will then face Wakefield at 8:45 p.m., before ending the night with a showdown against Northern Guilford at 9:45 p.m.
Castellano pointed out a few things he saw on Wednesday that the team will aim to fix before Friday’s jamboree, but he says nothing will be more important than communication.
“We had guys that didn’t communicate with one another. The ball would be snapped on either side and we didn’t have all eleven doing the exact same thing,” Castellano said. “You can’t be successful doing that.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. at 910-817-2673 and follow the sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.