By Jim Bratton
Riding a big night from senior Austin Seals, Richland got back into the win column on Friday, grabbing a 41-27 win at Zion Christian.
Seals scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, finishing with 125 yards on 18 carries, and added a 95-yard kickoff return to spark a spurt of 20 unanswered first-half points by the visiting Raiders to take control of the contest.
“It’s a long season,” Richland coach Nick Patterson said. “We got put in quarantine a couple of weeks back. It kind of delayed us a little bit, but that’s kind of the way it is this year. So (we’re) still just trying to grow each week and get a little bit better.
“Still got a lot of things to clean up, but proud of them for the win and proud of them for just continuing to never quit and keep pushing.”
Seals got the Raiders (3-2) on the board early, scoring from a yard out at the 9:00 mark of the first quarter. The Eagles answered four minutes later, with Luke Perko and Sam Sullivan connecting for a 7-yard score to knot the game at 7-7.
Seals fielded the ensuing kickoff at his own 5-yard line and took it to the house to make it 14-7, then logged his second rushing TD run of the night early in the second period.
“I would just like to thank my offensive line,” Seals said. “They played a hard game tonight. And hopefully we’ll come out and we’ll do the same thing next week in Spring Hill.”
Richland extended its lead to 27-7 at the 6:43 mark of the second quarter, when quarterback Sam Edwards found Mason Lawing for a 39-yard scoring pass.
Zion (3-4) cut the deficit to 27-14 with 2:38 left to play in the first half on a Sam Duffy 2-yard scamper, and pulled closer with less than two seconds remaining as Luke Perko and Sam Sullivan hooked up from 15 yards out.
The visitors put the game away in the second half behind a pair of Edwards touchdown runs.
“Our kids fought hard,” Zion coach Brad Lowery said. “Any time we play a team like Richland, we’re outmanned. And we’re really about five or six plays (away) for it to be different. We had a couple dropped interceptions. But, our offensive and defensive line fought. Our numbers kill us because we can’t sub a whole lot.
“Coach Patterson and Richland did a great job. They’ve got a pretty good team, I thought it was a very physical game. I thought our kids fought hard. And you know, the truth of it is we’re playing a lot of young guys. And when you have low numbers like we’ve got, and we can’t sub, it takes a toll on us for four quarters when they start leaning on us.”
Idle for Week 8, Zion Christian resumes play Oct. 16 at Mt. Pleasant. Richland travels to Spring Hill next week.
Richland 41, Zion Chr. 27
at Holcomb Field
Z 7 14 0 6 27
R 14 13 7 7 41
|R — Austin Seals 1 run (9:00), Colton Trimble kick|
|Z — Sam Sullivan 7 pass from Luke Perko (4:55), Wesley Riggins kick|
|R — Seals 95 kick return (4:41), Trimble kick|
|R — Seals 2 run (9:56), Trimble kick|
|R — Mason Lawing 39 pass from Sam Edwards (6:43), kick failed|
|Z — Sam Duffy 2 run (2:38), Riggins kick|
|Z — Sullivan 15 pass from Perko (0:01), Riggins kick|
|R — Edwards 25 run (8:29), Trimble kick|
|R — Edwards 3 run (6:06), Trimble kick|
|Z — Sullivan 85 kick return (5:49), kick failed|
Richland — Austin Seals 18-125, Sam Edwards 19-67, Tyler Seals 1-3, Daniel Hewitt 1-3
Zion Chr. — Luke Perko 14-74, Sam Duffy 4-7, Josh Harrison 2-2, Dillan Runions 2-14, Jaron Keyser 2-6
Richland — Sam Edwards 8-15-0, 116, Jack Norman 0-1-0, 0
Zion Chr. — Luke Perko 18-33-1, 120, Jaron Keyser 1-5-0, 9
Richland — Jack Norman 2-25, Ethan Workman 2-19, Ethan Ehrhardt 1-7, Mason Lawing 1-39, Austin Seals 1-20, Tyler Seals 1-6
Zion Chr. — Sam Duffy 4-21, Sam Sullivan 7-63, Josh Harrison 2-8, Wesley Riggins 1-19, Davis Duffy 2-18