It wasn’t exactly pretty, but it worked.
Richlands used a dominant defensive performance to upset 4th seeded Grayson County 10-0 and move on in the Region 2D playoffs.
A litany of miscues on offense stalled a bevy of Richlands drives, but when it mattered most, an opportunistic defense and special teams came up with six turnovers in the shutout performance.
Richlands got on the board first early in the second quarter behind a drive set up by a turnover.
Senior running back Trey Brown answered the question of, “What can Brown do for you?,” with a short touchdown run to put the Blues (7-4) on top 7-0.
The teams would take that score into halftime.
Behind the strength of the defense, Coach Greg Mance played a more conservative game on the muddy field in the second half, only picking up a chip-shot field goal from junior standout Levi “Fle” Forrest.
That 10-0 scoreline would hold the rest of the 2nd half, ending Grayson County’s (8-3) final season in Class 2. The Blue Devils will drop to Class 1 next season.
Sean Toney forced a fumble for Richlands, Hayden Whited picked it up and returned it almost to midfield. Logan Steele and Noah Spencer both came up with big interceptions in the second half.
Special teams capitalized on two muffed punts as well.
The win was Mance’s 198th all-time win at Richlands.
Up next for Richlands, a trip to the top-seeded Ridgeview Wolfpack awaits.
That game will kickoff at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
There’s just something about growing up in this area that lends itself to sports. Friday nights are the undisputed king. We all head to the local high school to catch a glimpse of those boys of fall.
That was no different in Richlands where I grew up with a love and a passion for those Blue Tornado. Unlike my co-host, I never strapped that lightning R on my head. I took the band route instead. But that didn’t stop me from becoming most school spirited my senior year, a title I still proudly wear today.
Leaving to get my degree at Virginia Tech actually helped solidify all that I love about this area. Sure, football is a big deal in the NRV as well, but it’s just not the same. And that’s okay. Our area is special.
I’m happy to be back in SWVA this fall and I’m ready to bring you a plethora of content options as we embark on this thing called life. RIP Prince.
Oh, and Hunt Bros. Pizza is the best pizza.