Dominate Kent Co. for homecoming win
AMERICAN CORNER — On a day when Colonel Richardson High celebrated homecoming festivities, the school’s football team gave fans a lot to cheer for Saturday with a dominating 44-6 victory over defending 1A East Region champion Kent County.
The win moves Colonel back to .500 at 3-3, helping its playoff chances. The Trojans fall to 1-5.
Long before seniors John Carter and Maddy Christopher received their crowns as 2017 homecoming king and queen, the Colonels removed all doubt who would win with a 24-0 first quarter lead and 31-0 halftime advantage.
Robert Thompson III took the first play from scrimmage around left end for an 85-yard touchdown run and an 8-0 lead after a Darrion Speller two-point conversion.
On the next possession, Kent County drove to the Colonel 35, but a tackle for no gain by Carter on second down and a tackle for a loss by Tyler Stanley forced a punt.
Colonel’s defense extended the lead on the Trojans’ next offensive play. Dakota Wilson picked up a fumble and ran 25 yards for a touchdown. His teammate Mason Lambert was the first to arrive at the fumble, but Lambert smartly pushed Kent County quarterback Peyton
Taylor to the ground, which allowed Wilson to scoop up the ball and run uncontested into the end zone. The offense added a two-point conversion to extend the lead to 16-0.
CR’s defense stayed red hot on an afternoon with temperatures reaching into the upper 80s when Karon Raikes intercepted a Taylor pass, returning the pick 30 yards to the 10-yard line.
Two plays later, quarterback Jake Zebron plunged into the end zone from a yard out for a touchdown. A two-point pass from Zebron to Speller extended the Colonel lead to 24-0 with two minutes left in the first quarter.
The CR defense continued its strong play with another three-and-out on the heels of a Lambert four-yard tackle for loss on third down.
The Colonel offense then methodically marched toward the end zone on a nine-play, 68-yard drive. Runs by Thompson (14 carries, 172 yards), Ty’mir Foster (9 for 50) and Jordan Gabriel (5 for 39) kept the chains moving. A 23-yard run by Thompson gave the Colonels a first-and-goal from the two. Foster scored on the next play to give Colonel a 31-0 lead with Thompson’s extra point.
“How about that effort,” said Colonel head coach Dan Mangum. “You always want to start fast, but 24-0 in the first quarter is something really special to see.
“This group works really, and gets beat up a lot because many play both ways,” he added. “They are super tough, and talented. I’m very proud of them. This is a big win for us.
“It is really special to do this on homecoming,” he continued. “We always have great suppor t from the community. It is great for the community to get a chance to see all the hard work by the players come together today.”
Mangum said the first possession of the second half by the defense was a great statement. Kent County received the second-half kickoff, but the Colonel defense stuffed the Trojans to force a turnover on downs.
Six plays later, Thompson scored from seven yards out to give the Colonels a 37-0 lead and a running clock.
The Colonel defense put an exclamation point on the day’s celebration when Jacob Towers intercepted Thomas Goldsborough and ran 35 yards for a touchdown. The extra point by Thompson gave Colonel a 44-0 thirdquarter lead.
“The defense played huge,” Mangum said. “When we scored on offense, the defense stopped Kent to get the ball back for the offense. Anytime the defense can score, it just gives you a huge advantage. We did that twice today.”
Kent County got on the board late in the fourth quarter to avoid being shutout when Silas Phillips sprinted 57 yards for a touchdown.
The Colonels are scheduled to host Nandua (Va.) at 6 p.m. Friday. Kent County travels to 2A power North Caroline with a 7 p.m. scheduled start the same night.
Colonel Richardson’s Robert Thompson III sprints through a hole and goes 85 yards for a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage against Kent County on Saturday.