By Chris Yow
After both Richland and Spring Hill were forced to shut down their programs over COVID-19 concerns, coaches Nick Patterson and Ben Martin knew getting one of those games back would help their teams.
Martin called Patterson and the two were able to work out a deal where the two Raiders squads would face off on Friday, Oct. 9, at Spring Hill.
“(Martin) called me and said he wanted to play us,” Patterson said. “We negotiated a little bit and decided to go ahead and do it. We needed a game, and they were offering.”
Both schools missed Weeks 4 and 5 due to restrictions levied through COVID-19 protocols. Richland had positive cases among its coaching staff, while Spring Hill’s entire school was shut down for 14 days.
Both teams have key region games remaining, and Patterson said playing a team bigger than his and with the athleticism Spring Hill brings, will benefit his team going down the stretch. Spring Hill, though, is in Class 4A, while Richland plays in Tennessee’s smallest classification.
“They are a bigger school, and they have some really good athletes over there,” he said. “But playing a team like that will prepare us for games against our region.”
Richland, who fell to 2-2 (1-1 Region 5-1A) with a loss to Fayetteville 20-6 on Friday, still has Cornersville, Huntland and Moore County on the region slate to close the season.
Spring Hill (0-4) returned to action on Friday as well, falling to Class 6A, No. 7 Mt. Juliet 28-0. Spring Hill resumes Region 4-4A action this week against visiting Maplewood.