The New Richmond Lions continued their rebound from a week one loss to Indian Hill, trouncing Talawanda 34-3 in a home contest on Friday, September 14.
The tone for the contest was set early. Talawanda received the opening kickoff, but New Richmond promptly took over on offense after Mitchell Williamson forced a fumble that the Lions recovered.
New Richmond scored shortly after, with quarterback Josh Anderson scoring on a three-yard touchdown run to give the Lions a 7-0 lead.
Talawanda answered with a field goal, but it was all Lions from there. Anderson added a one-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and Jacob Duty scored on a one-yard carry with 4:22 left in the half to put the Lions ahead 21-3.
Anderson scored again with 4:36 left in the third quarter for a 28-3 New Richmond lead, and Duty capped off the scoring with a 66-yard touchdown run. It was the second long run of the game for Duty, and New Richmond head coach Patrick Burke said he felt the game was a bit of a showcase for the Lion runner.
“Duty really came out tonight and showed off what he can do,” Burke said. “If we can get him in space with the ball, not many people are going to catch him. He broke off a 60 yard run, he did his thing and I’m proud of him. He doesn’t get a lot of touches all the time. He got an award we give out, the Elite Warrior Award. He’s not the featured back here, but when his number is called, he’s going to perform at a high level and he did that tonight.”
Burke also praised the Lions’ opponent for their play entering the game that night.
“It was a good game,” Burke said. “We told our kids all week, this is the best team that we’ve faced this far. We had to come out and execute at a high level, and be more disciplined than we have been, and I think our kids did that.”
Thanks to the score, the Lions got the chance to play several different players throughout the night. Luke Lytle started at corner for the team, and connected on four of five extra point tries, but he also got time at quarterback late in the game. Cody Feldkamp recorded a pair of tackles and had a nifty one-handed diving interception late in the game that allowed the Lions to run out the rest of the clock.
“We played a lot of guys, which is good,” Burke said. “We need to develop depth if we’re going to continue our journey and our climb to where we want to be, and we did that tonight. We had a lot of guys executing at a high level. There are things that we have to work on, and we’ll work on them next week for Homecoming and Norwood.”
Lytle led the Lions with four tackles. Duty also had four tackles. Jacob Noble finished with 3.5 tackles. Williamson had 2.5 tackles to go with his forced fumble, which Burke said helped dictate things early for the Lions.
”That set the tone the whole night,” Burke said. “Any time you can get a big hit and a great defensive play and stop on the very first drive, you can’t beat it. Our kids put the foot on the gas and we rolled.”
Anderson finished with seven completions in 13 attempts for 65 yards. He also recorded 16 carries for 88 yards and three touchdowns. Duty only had four carries, but he finished with 136 yards and four touchdowns. Hunter Cook had two catches for 43 yards, while Aaron Prescott added two catches for eight yards.
After the game, the Lions came together with students and the band on the field to record a message to Ally Anderson, an 11-year-old who recently was diagnosed with cancer.
”One of our kids’ parents came to me, there’s a little girl named Ally at his sister’s cheerleading gym, she just got diagnosed with cancer,” Burke said. “We thought we’d do something nice and support her on her fight, that’s the least we could do to show our support.”
The Lions now turn their attention to their final non-conference matchup of the regular season. The team hosts Norwood on Friday, September 20, and it’s Homecoming night in New Richmond. Burke said it’s important for the team to focus on the game and worry about the festivities after.
“It’s easy for high schoolers to lose their focus going into homecoming,” Burke said. “We have the clash of the classes and we have the dance and you have everybody wanting to do something after the game and all that. We need to stay focused on our task, and then you can have the fun after the game.”
Rally for Ally – https://www.gofundme.com/63bgo3s