The Richmond coaching staff knew that Moberly would be coming to town with a lot of weapons that were getting healthy at the right time. Friday night at Tom Adams Field, the visiting Spartans used each and every weapon available as they ended Richmond’s season and post-season hopes with a 33-12 victory in the final Class 3, District 14 contest.
Moberly, now 7-3 for the season, will advance to the sectional on Wednesday night at undefeated Holden. For the second year in a row, Richmond will put a 3-7 mark into the record books.
Despite the disappointing end, Richmond Coach Rob Bowers said his team learned, and will be ready to improve on their record next fall.
“They played hard the whole night and the whole year,” he said. “I feel confident that they’re going to come back in the off season and do what they have to do to get better. Good things are coming for Richmond football. This is a tough pill to swallow this year – we would have liked to have gotten it rolling a little earlier, but it’s going to happen and these kids are going to make it happen.”
Richmond had things going its way early as they took the opening kick and drove 67 yards in 14 plays with Jamal Robinson scoring from the 2-yard line for a 6-0 lead, but Moberly would answer with back-to-back scoring drives to take control of the game.
Led by the rushing of Brock Sisco, who had 93 yards on 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns, Moberly posted 208 yards on the ground. The air attack was led by Kris Cupp, who completed 7 of his 15 passes to five different receivers for 168 yards and another score.
Sisco got the Moberly scoring going with a 17-yard run with 4:23 left in the opening period, followed by the first of three PAT’s from Skylar Kitchen. Cupp and his 6-6, 215-pound receiver David Tooley then combined for a 58-yard scoring strike 3:03 later. Tooley hauled in 3 passes for 77 yards for the night. Kitchen’s kick was blocked by Robinson, but Moberly was still in command.
Bowers said the balanced Moberly attack caused his defense a lot of problems.
“They could run the ball and they could throw it,” he said. “We just couldn’t load up on one or the other and that makes it awful tough. They’re huge up front and unless we loaded the box, we couldn’t stop the run and when we loaded the box, they had some kids on the parameter that we couldn’t cover man to man.”
A 45-yard run by Trevon Logan, who ended the night with 74 yards on 7 attempts, with 5:35 remaining in the half, boosted the visitor’s cushion to 20-6 at the break.
Meanwhile, the Richmond offense was moving the ball, but could not finish off a drive. The Spartans ended the game with 338 yards of offense – 182 rushing and 156 passing. Colby Bowles completed 10 of his 21 aerials for a season-high 156 yards, with six different receivers making a catch.
Bowers said the offensive line provided his sophomore signal caller time to throw.
“If we give him time to throw, he can sit back in the pocket and find receivers,” he said. “His stats would have been better tonight, but we had a couple of times where our receivers stopped running on their routes and made some of his throws look off target.”
Moberly opened the second half with an 8-play, 61-yard drive as Sisco carried 6 times for 57 of those yards, including the final 4 with 8:15 left in the third period for a 27-6 lead.
Moberly’s advantage stretched to 33-6 early in the fourth frame on a 2-yard run by Jon Dixon. Richmond would answer with its final score of the season as Bowles found Jake Vandiver in the end zone. Vandiver fought off two defenders to come down with the ball for a 29-yard touchdown with 5:08 left in the season.
Each team fumbled three times, but did not lose one. Bowles threw a pair of interceptions for the only turnovers in the game. Richmond had 3 penalties for 31 yards, while Moberly drew 4 flags for 30.
Photo: Richmond quarterback Colby Bowles (10) tries to break away from a Moberly defender in Friday night’s season finale. (Photo by Russ Green/The Daily News)