The Richfield High School football team kicked off its season with a 42-0 thumping of Providence Hall Friday night.
“They don’t have a history with football,” said coach Jason Hitchens. “It does allow for us to be cautiously optimistic.”
The game started with the Wildcats holding Providence Hall’s Patriots near midfield. The punt from the 47-yard line landed in Brittyn Riddle’s arms.
Riddle cradled the ball all the way back from 70 yards out into the end zone for his first of four touchdown jaunts during the game.
The next series also ended in a punt for the Patriots. Just like the last punt, Riddle snagged the ball and ran it in, this time 43 yards. With 4:47 to go in the first stanza, the ’Cats were up 13-0.
Providence Hall ran four plays before punting again, but this time Richfield’s offense had a chance to take to the field. The ’Cats ended up turning the ball over on downs near their own 30-yard line.
The Patriots pushed the ball up to the 16-yard line before Richfield’s defense forced a fumble, then a sack, both for losses. Providence hall had to punt the ball away, setting Richfield up on its own 13-yard line.
Runs by Kasey Giddings helped Richfield hold onto the pigskin for eight plays, but the ’Cats eventually had to punt it away. Providence Hall then started its march, which was interrupted by an interception by Giddings.
Now on the 37-yard line, quarterback Gavin Brown handed off to Giddings once, and passed to Riddle twice. The second pass, from 34 yards out, ended in another TD with 27 seconds to go in the half.
Richfield started off the second half with possession, running a six-play series that ended in a six-yard pass to Mayson Hitchens in the pay dirt.
Brown snagged an interception on the Patriots’ next possession. He then passed the ball to Dominic Rolph from 24 yards out for another Richfield score.
Four plays later, the Patriots punted again, and Riddle ran 58 yards for the final touchdown of the game with 2:46 to go in the third quarter.
Outside of punt returns, Riddle accounted for 78 yards on four runs. He also had two receptions for 58 yards.
“It was a combined effort,” Riddle said. “We all came out here for the same reason and wanted the best for one another.”
Giddings had five carries for 37 yards, followed by Carston Jensen with four runs and 20 yards. Brown kept the ball four times for 13 yards on the rush. Brown also completed eight of 10 passes for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Mayson also completed a pass for nine yards.
Rolph had 24 yards on a reception. Ethan Udy and Jake Hyatt both added 14-yard pass receptions. Mayson had two receptions for 11 yards. Parker Rappleye and Brandon Schaub each snagged a reception as well.
Kordell Morgan nailed three PATs during the game.
Wyatt Blackner led the defense with 15 tackles. Gage Morrison had 12, followed by Giddings with 10, including a sack.
Schaub had six tackles with a sack. Nathan Sheffer also had a sack on his way to five tackles.
Next for the ’Cats is a game against the North Sevier Wolves in Salina Friday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m.