It was dubbed the Battle of the Storms, but it wasn’t much of a battle as Richlands cruises to a 38-0 victory over Marion.
The Blues defense held Marion to just 65 yards of offense, forcing two fumbles and not allowing a Marion first down until well into the second half.
Logan Steele rushed for 49 yards and 2 touchdowns. Quarterback Cade Simmons went 7-8 for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns and added a touchdown on a keep up the middle.
Hayden Whited also blocked a punt in the rout.
Mance pulled the starters after Richlands (4-3, 2-0) scored its 5th touchdown. That came with 9:29 left in the 2nd quarter.
And now all eyes turn to county rival and defending state champion Graham.
The G-Men will come to Ernie Hicks Stadium after a big homecoming win over Virginia High.
Graham (5-2, 2-0) is led offensively by Old Dominion commit Devin Lester as well as former Blue Tornado Tre Booker.
Defensively, Graham is led by Lester and dynamic linebacking duo Nick Kastner and Aaron Edwards.
Expect a capacity crowd in what will be the de facto Southwest District championship matchup. A home playoff game may also be on the line Friday night.
Richlands will look to keep the ground attack running strong against a stout Graham defense. Graham has the team speed advantage, and will try to flaunt that on the turf.
Look for this one to come down to who makes the least mistakes in a heated rivalry.
Kickoff is set for 7pm on Friday night.
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.