November 16, 2013
By BRIAN WOODSON
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Photo by Eric DiNovo (left)
RICHLANDS, Va. — What is a little rain to a River.
River Michaels ran for 70 yards and a touchdown and also threw for a score, leading Richlands to a 31-21 win over Graham in a Region 2A West opening round playoff game on a rainy, cold Friday night at Ernie Hicks Stadium/EMATS Field.
Richlands (8-3), which has won five in a row, will host Virginia High next week after the Bearcats surprised Gretna 45-40.
“We would like to play here, anytime we can stay at home in the confines of Ernie Hicks Stadium, that would be great,” Richlands head coach Greg Mance said. “(Graham’s) kids played hard, you hate to see someone lose and Graham has had a great season, and those seniors, they played their hearts out.”
Graham (6-5), which had a three-game winning streak snapped, had four turnovers and also had a field goal and punt blocked.
“I felt like we played the whole first quarter inside our own 5 or 10 yard line,” Graham head coach Mike Williams said. “Field position was awful, they took advantage and got 14 quick points and we were just never able to recover.”
Out of the first six plays in the game, four resulted in turnovers, two for each team, much of which was caused by a steady downpour that fell most of the game. Ironically, neither team could capitalize on those mistakes.
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