Woodbridge Blue Raiders football team breaks huddle during a game photo courtesy of Nick Halliday

Banks provides lightning to lead Woodbridge

Benny MitchellHeadlines, Sports

Woodbridge Blue Raiders football team breaks huddle during a game photo courtesy of Nick Halliday

Woodbridge Blue Raiders football team breaks huddle during a game, photo courtesy of Nick Halliday

Greenwood – Extreme heat at kickoff led to second half lightning with the weather, but the Blue Raiders Ji’Kare Banks provided some lightning of his own with a pair of long touchdown runs to lead Woodbridge over Maryland foe Colonel Richardson 52-12. A nearby lightning strike ended the game with 1:25 left on the clock.

The two schools are about 16 miles apart with both being about eight miles from the state line with similar communities, which provided for an intriguing early season matchup.

It would be the Woodbridge defense that would make the first big play of the game when Emmanuel Miles-Martin intercepted a Colonel Richardson pass at the Colonels 47 yard line and returned it to the 34 yard line. Five plays later Traci Johnson scored on a one yard run that was set up by Quincy Risper 33 yard. Johnson ran in the conversion as the Blue Raiders took an 8-0 lead four minutes into the game.

Jazir Dickerson gave Colonel Richardson good field position on their second offensive series as he returned the kickoff to the Woodbridge 34 yard line which led to a one yard touchdown run by Derrick Mitchell. The conversion run failed as Woodbridge led 8-6.

The Blue Raiders answered quickly with Johnson scoring on a 66 yard touchdown run on the first play of the drive. Johnson followed with the conversion run as the Blue Raiders extended their lead to 16-6.

Banks delivered the first of his two backbreakers in the game as the Colonels were on the doorstep of a touchdown when he intercepted a pass at the goalline and returned it 100 yards for Woodbridge touchdown. The Colonels stopped the conversion run as Woodbridge led 22-6 in the first quarter.

Colonel Richardson answered with a score of their own when quarterback Tarron Hammond connected with Carter Turbitt on a 33 yard screen pass for a touchdown. The Blue Raiders stopped the conversion run as the Colonels cut the lead to 22-12 with just 1:23 left to play in the first half.

Turbitt led the Colonels on offense with 64 total yards on offense, while Hammond completed three passes for 61 yards with a touchdown, but suffered two interceptions.

Woodbridge wasted no time answering when Risper took a delayed handoff and raced 27 yards for a touchdown carrying a Colonel Richardson defender into the endzone just 17 seconds later. Risper added the conversion run and Woodbridge took a 30-12 lead into halftime.

“Answering that second Colonel Richardson touchdown late in the first half was a big play, I felt with the offense they run they would have a hard time catching up if we could have a three or four touchdown lead,” Woodbridge head coach Marvin Dooley said.

The second half was all Woodbridge and started with Banks’ second backbreaker in the game returning the second half kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Johnson added the conversion run as Woodbridge took a 38-12 lead just 15 seconds into the second half.

Banks had 198 non offensive yards for the Blue Raiders leading to two scores.

“Ji’Kare is a talented player, those two scores along with Quicy Risper’s run at the end of the half were the turning points of the game,” Dooley said.

Woodbridge added touchdown runs by Darell Smith and Malachi Hayes, both 15 yard runs. Cotton Collins added the PAT kicks giving the Blue Raiders the 52-12 win.

Woodbridge amassed 267 yards of total offense with 256 of it rushing. Johnson had 116 yards on 13 carries with a pair of touchdowns and three conversion runs. Risper carried the ball 4 times for 64 yards with a touchdown and a conversion run.

“Quincy Risper is the motor of this team. Last week he was not allowed to attend the game because of a penalty in a scrimmage, but when the team bus arrived back from Seaford last week he was standing in the parking lot and congratulated each player as they stepped off the bus.” Dooley said. “That’s a leader.”

Colonel Richardson falls to 1-1 on the season and heads to Kent Island for a Bayside Conference game next Friday night with a 7:00 P.M. kickoff.

Woodbridge improves to 2-0 in non-district play and head to Bear next Saturday to take on the Glasgow Dragons with a noon kickoff.

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