By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Richmond Spartan offense came to a grinding halt Friday night and the Higginsville Huskers took full advantage to spoil Homecoming festivities at Tom Adams Field. The No. 7-ranked Class 2 Huskers remained unbeaten in the MRVC East opener for both schools with a 34-0 decision over the Spartans.
Richmond, now 3-2 for the season, could manage only four first downs and 88 yards of offense (50 rushing on 23 attempts, and 6 completed passes on 11 attempts for 38 yards). As a result, the potent Husker offense remained on the field for most of the night as they ran 58 plays from scrimmage compared to Richmond’s 34.
“We just put a lot of pressure on our defense tonight because the offense couldn’t get anything going,” Richmond Coach Rob Bowers said. “We would just go three and out, three and out and couldn’t get anything going. It wasn’t any one certain thing. It wasn’t the line’s fault, it wasn’t the back’s fault, it wasn’t the quarterback. Everybody contributed to it. It seemed like every play would have a breakdown.”
The Huskers had their usual balanced rushing attack with Marcus Elmore leading way by picking up 92 yards on 16 carries, Matt Gibson adding 68 yards on 9 attempts and Colton Williams gaining 63 yards on 10 rushes. Gibson also completed half of his 8 passes for another 128 yards with a pair of scoring tosses.
Bowers thought his defense played well for most of the night, but were on the field too long.
“We had two or three breakdowns on pass defense where we let them get behind us,” he said. “Our kids played hard defensively, we played hard offensively, I was pleased with the effort, we just have to do a better job of consistently – all 11 of us – of knowing what to do and doing it well enough to be successful.”
Neither team scored in the opening quarter as the Spartans turned away Higginsville’s first threat with Dylan Seely’s interception stopping the Huskers on the Richmond 8-yard line. However, the Spartans could not move the ball and had to punt after just three plays to give Higginsville great field position. The Huskers would not let this scoring chance escape as Elmore broke loose for a 19-yard run off right tackle with 10:50 remaining in the first half. Matt Elder booted the first of his three extra points to give Higginsville the only points it would need.