Saturday, 09 November 2019 15:42

BREAKING: Raiders earn No. 1 playoff seed, bye in 'really good' West bracket

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The Raiders will get a first-round bye in this year's playoffs thanks to their No. 1 seed. The Raiders will get a first-round bye in this year's playoffs thanks to their No. 1 seed. Kyle Pillar — Sports Editor.

ROCKINGHAM — The road of the West region of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4AA football state championship will run through Raider Stadium in 2019.

Final playoff brackets were released Saturday afternoon and Richmond Senior High School was seeded as the No. 1 team in the West bracket. The Raiders will also have home field advantage throughout the course of this year’s postseason.

The Raiders and third-year head coach Bryan Till capped off a perfect regular season on Friday, blowing out rival Scotland High School 48-13. It marked the first time in 13 years Richmond accomplished an undefeated regular season, while the Raiders also cemented their second straight Sandhills Athletic Conference title.

Behind an explosive offense, the Raiders scored 44.6 points per contest. That was backed up by a defense that gave up just 10.2 points per game.

On paper, the West bracket is a gauntlet made up of four double-digit win teams. Sitting at 11-0 on the season, Richmond is matched by No. 4 Myers Park High School as the only undefeated teams in the West (also 11-0). No. 2 Mallard Creek High School enters the playoffs 10-0-1, and No. 5 Ardrey Kell High School is 10-1.

“The seed is good because we want to be on top,” Till said. “It’s nice to be recognized for what we’ve done, but I’m more proud of our efforts on field. No. 1 doesn’t mean a whole lot to me or us because we still need to win. But it does put us in front of everyone else.

“I resent the statement that people want us to go East because it’s an easier road,” he added. “That’s not a competitor’s nature. The only time you achieve something great is against great resistance.”

Of the lineup in the 4AA West, Till said there are some “really, really good teams” and that they’re probably “seeing it the same way.”

After determining the seed process, the NCHSAA splits the 4A classification into A and AA brackets based on a school’s average daily membership (number of students), seeing each bracket field 24 teams (12 in each region). 

Other SAC schools to make 4AA were Pinecrest High School (No. 6 West) and Hoke County High School (No. 7 East).

In 4A play, Scotland (No. 6 East), Jack Britt (No. 7 East) and Seventy-First (No. 8 East) high schools all made the postseason.

Last season, Richmond was 10-1 overall and nabbed a No. 2 seed and a bye. The Raiders defeated No. 10 Reagan 49-7 before falling to No. 6 Myers Park in the third round.

Now the Raiders will get a week off from competition as the first round is set for this coming Friday, but it doesn’t mean their preparation will stop. Richmond will get the winner of No. 8 Hough High School or No. 9 Olympic High School in the second round (Friday, Nov. 22).

Of the uncertain opponent, Till said he and his coaching staff will “evaluate this week” and get the Raiders ready for whoever awaits them in two weeks.

Last modified on Saturday, 09 November 2019 22:33

Kyle Pillar

Sports Editor. IUP communications media and journalism alumni. English teacher, Ninth Grade Academy.

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