By Russ Green-Sports Editor
The Richmond Spartans will head to Holden Friday night in a good frame of mind as they take on the Eagles in an MRVC East battle. The Eagles, on the other hand, might be a little upset following last week’s 34-28 loss at Higginsville – a game in which Holden led most of the way.
Richmond got itself back to the .500 mark in conference with a commanding 39-19 road win at Carrollton and the Spartans also improved to 4-2 overall. Richmond’s offense bounced back one week after being shut down by Higginsville, rolling up 364 rushing yards to go along with 88 more through the air. Richmond also had four plays cover over 40 yards.
“I felt like the O-line did a good job of getting to where they were supposed to go and getting a body on body,” Richmond coach Rob Bowers said. “The backs and receivers made plays – they broke tackles and caught the ball.”
Quinton Maxwell picked up 156 of those rushing yards, Dylan Seely ran for a 41-yard touchdown on his only carry and Tommy Wedgeworth added a career-high 114 yards on just 4 attempts. Bowers added Brock Stokes, who ended the night with 60 yards on a dozen attempts, was a key to the Spartans breaking big plays.
“We had a lot of people come up with big plays,” Bowers said. “I thought Brock Stokes ran the ball extremely hard, which set up a lot of the other big plays. The way he ran – they had to devote more people to stop him and that opened up the play-action passing. The offensive line played well and all the skill people contributed and that’s what we need to be successful.”
The Richmond defense did allow Carrollton to run for 257 yards, most of those coming in the second and third periods, but for the most part, Bowers was pleased with his defenders. The Spartan defense will face a tough challenge Friday in facing the 4-2 Eagles. Both of Holden’s losses have come to state-ranked teams in Higginsville and Oak Grove.
The Eagles power-running attack is led by junior Austin Tevis. Tevis, who lined up in the backfield last year with Max Mickey, the state’s all-time career rusher, has more than picked up the slack. The 200-pound former fullback has 1,042 yards on 124 carries and has scored 15 of Holden’s 20 rushing touchdowns. Tevis, a starter since his freshman year, is a different type of tailback then Mickey Bowers said.
“He’s not as elusive and not as shifty, but he’s also big and strong,” he said. “If he can get his shoulders turned up field and get going, he’s a load to try and tackle. He’s fast, too. We have to make sure we get a lot of people to the ball and then when we do, get him down.”