For The Daily Reporter
RICHMOND — Richmond had various potential game-changing plays Friday night.
Mt. Vernon’s defense made sure the Red Devils didn’t have too many.
Richmond’s football season came to an end Friday night as the Marauders defeated the Red Devils 46-14 in the opening round of IHSAA Class 4A Sectional 22.
The Marauders (7-3) advance to next week’s semifinal opposite Pendleton Heights, after the Arabians defeated Connersville 31-7 in their first-round game Friday.
Delta will play Greenfield-Central in the other semifinal after Delta defeated New Castle 27-7 and Greenfield bested Jay County 41-21.
“At the beginning of the game, I think Richmond was fresh. A lot of their guys play both ways, so I think that as the game went on, they got worn down a little bit,” Mt. Vernon coach Doug Armstrong said. “But at the beginning of the game, their big guys kind of pushed us around a little bit. Richmond was able to move the ball.
“When we got the ball, we were able to move it, and we got two turnovers that really slowed us down and cost us in the first half.”
Richmond’s Ron Sanders intercepted a pass on Mt. Vernon’s first possession, setting the Red Devils up for a potential scoring opportunity early in the game.
The Red Devils got to Mt. Vernon’s 4-yard line, but with the help of some penalties, could not score, eventually turning the ball over from the 10.
The Marauders marched down the field, and after a Zac Montgomery broke for about 30 yards, he cut back in around the Richmond 4, trying to get a few extra yards, but was brought down, fumbling the ball with Richmond recovering.
Alex Barnett finally caught a pass and took it 29 yards to put the Marauders ahead 6-0 with 10:17 left in the first half, and Eric Jones rushed for a 7-yard touchdown to make it 12-0 at halftime.
Richmond recovered an onside kick to open the third quarter but were quickly stopped.
Montgomery scored on a 1-yard run late in the third quarter and Charles DeGraff returned an interception about 18 yards in the final minute of the third quarter.
Jones (5-yard run), Nathan Seifert (3-yard run) and Montgomery (63-yard run) each scored in the fourth quarter, while Jawuan Claiborne caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Alston Bane with 10:10 to play and Bane connected with Thomas Stanley from 6 yards out later in the quarter.
Unofficially, Montgomery had six completions for 85 yards, 37 of those yards to Barnett and 22 to Mitch McCarthy, and Eric Jones led the running game with 120 yards on 19 carries.
Montgomery rushed for 28 yards on seven carries.
Richmond concludes the season with a 4-6 record, the first losing season in Matt Holeva’s 13 years as head coach.
Mt. Vernon defeated Pendleton Heights 28-9 in Week 6.
“We played Pendleton one time before, fairly competitive game,” Armstrong said. “We got some work to do back in our secondary, work to do cleaning up our turnovers.”