By Nathan Ham
Gerron Bryant scored a pair of touchdowns for the High Country Grizzlies, but it wasn’t enough as the Richmond Roughriders rode home with a 34-19 victory on Saturday night.
Former Marshall University standout quarterback Rakeem Cato accounted for all five touchdowns for the Roughriders while their defense held the Grizzlies to just 139 yards of total offense.
Richmond scored first on a 48-yard strike from Cato to Rashaad Carter at the 8:01 mark of the first quarter. The Grizzlies were able to block the extra point to make the score 6-0.
In the second quarter, Cato found Daniel Lee for a 12-yard touchdown pass and a 13-0 lead with 5:03 until the halftime break.
The Grizzlies got on the board with a 17-yard TD pass from Darren Daniel to Bryant.
It took the Roughriders just eight seconds to answer back with a 25-yard touchdown toss from Cato to Carter. Richmond held a 20-7 lead at the half.
The third quarter started with a boom for Richmond. Cato hooked up with Carter for the third time, this one a 35-yard pass to extend the lead to 27-7.
The Grizzlies answered back with a one-yard touchdown run by Zachariah Taylor to trim the deficit to 14 points at 27-13.
With 47 seconds left in the third quarter, Cato scored his fifth and final touchdown, this time doing it with his legs on a six-yard run. Richmond took a comfortable 34-13 lead into the fourth quarter.
The only points scored in the final period came off of Bryant’s second TD of the night, this one a two-yard run with 3:21 left to play.
Cato finished the game completing 11-of-23 passes for 170 yards and four touchdowns. Daniel led the Grizzlies with 19 completions on 36 attempts for 139 yards and a touchdown.
Carter led all players with seven catches for 133 yards and three touchdowns.
Edward Victorian had seven catches and 44 yards for the High County Grizzlies. AJ Stevenson added five grabs for 50 yards, Alex Coleman had five receptions for 30 yards and Bryant finished with two catches for 15 yards and a touchdown.
On the ground, the Grizzlies finished with zero net rushing yards on 14 carries. Demarkus Berry managed just nine yards on five carries as the team’s leading rusher.
Defensively, Gerod Holliman led the Grizzlies with six tackles. Ethan Farmer added five tackles and Sean Potts-Harris had three tackles.
Next up, the Grizzlies (0-1) will be at home once again with a game against the Florida Tarpons this Saturday, March 24, at 7 p.m. The team will be without one of its defensive leaders, Brandon Sutton. Sutton, who was also a key part of last year’s team, dislocated his elbow in the season opener. A timetable for his return is unknown at this time.