By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Richmond Spartans shook off a tough loss from the previous week as they held on to stop the Excelsior Springs Tigers 23-20 in the 2013 home opener Friday night at Tom Adams Field. The Spartans improved to 2-1 for the season and were able to get a little more balance in the offensive attack with quarterback Quinton Maxwell throwing for 99 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing for 105 yards on a dozen carries.
However, it was the defense coming up big for the Spartans as they came up with a pair of stops in the fourth quarter while nursing a one-point lead. The first defensive stand resulted in the snap going over the Excelsior Springs’ punter’s head that resulted in a safety to give Richmond just a bit more breathing room, and Daymean Probst’s second interception to end the final Tiger drive of the night.
Richmond ended the evening with 162 yards rushing, but it was the passing game that clicked for the Spartans.
“We’ve got kids who can catch the ball,” Richmond coach Rob Bowers said. “We had to tonight, and they did a better job of doing it. I was proud of them. Excelsior was filling up the box and bringing their backers so we had to throw it to be successful.”
It was the passing game that got things started for Excelsior Springs (1-2) just two plays into the night. Nick Masoner, who torched the Spartans last year in a 55-21 Tiger rout, hit Sam Webb for a 47-yard scoring strike. Austin Creason booted the first of his two conversions for the early Tiger advantage that lasted until Richmond’s next possession.
Boosted by a 56-yard run by Maxwell, the Spartans drove 79 yards in nine plays for an answer. Maxwell found Dylan Seely in the end zone for a 15-yard scoring hook-up on a fourth-down play with 6:35 remaining in the opening period, followed by David Parker’s kick to tie the game.
Seely, who had the only five RHS receptions last week, hauled in six more Friday night for 62 yards.