By Joseph Hayes
It was a back and forth slugfest.
The kind you come to expect from two standout Blue Water Area Conference programs like Richmond and Algonac.
By the time the game reached late into the third quarter, Richmond was still holding onto a 7-0 lead. It wasn’t until a two touchdown spurt in less than a minute in the fourth quarter that they would finally put Algonac away, for a 26-7 victory in the BWAC opener for both teams.
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“This was the type of game I expected,” Richmond coach John Kocher said after his team improved to 2-0 on the season. “I would have been happy if we would have won by a point. They are a very good team and I just wanted to find a way to win.”
Richmond did so by adjusting to Algonac’s ground attack and then finding its own offense late in the game.
Here are a few takeaways from the game:
Algonac starts strong
The Muskrats came out the gates running the ball effectively on their first drive. It wasn’t until Richmond started adjusting its defense, that they were able to limit Algonac and get the ball back. It would be a struggle throughout the first half however, as Algonac’s ground game continued to give Richmond problems.
Richmond wouldn’t quit, however. After a slow start, Richmond finally got on the board behind a big play. Playmaking junior Derek Snyder took a pitch 54 yards for the first score of the game with just under four minutes remaining in the first half. Snyder would also add an interception later in the game. Richmond led 7-0 at the break.
“It was a great feeling,” Snyder said. “I tried to get my team going. Anything I can do to help my team.
“I got the ball and saw the defensive end pop up, I saw the defender pop up and I just used my speed.”
In the second half, the game remained close until late, even after Richmond added a seven-yard rushing score from Noah Montanari to take a 13-0 lead after the point after attempt failed.
Algonac struck back to make it 13-7, on a 79-yard touchdown reception from Nathan Stringer, but that’s when Richmond would answer with a 14-0 run to put the game away.
First Richmond quarterback Brandon Schorman found his brother Zackary for a clutch 21-yard score on a key 3rd and 10 in the back of the end zone. That gave Richmond a 20-7 lead. Then Montanari closed the show with a 50-yard run to give Richmond its 26-7 advantage.
“We have played 40 great minutes of football and then fall away for eight minutes,” Algonac coach John Loper said. “I believe if we can eliminate the mistakes me made over the last eight minutes it would be a different result.”
Algonac (0-2) will host Almont on Friday, while Richmond travels to Armada.
Joseph Hayes is the new Managing Editor at Blue Water Healthy Living. Hayes was previously at the Port Huron Times Herald and hosted a show on Power 88.3. He has additional experience at The Detroit News, Detroit Free Press and Jackson Citizen Patriot and WDFN 1130. Contact Hayes at email@example.com