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Statesmen open with 42-0 blowout win

Randolph-Henry High School’s (R-H) varsity football team got a later start this year than most of the other participating teams in the area, but the Statesmen made it worth the wait for their fans.

In their first action of a season that was delayed till early 2021 by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Statesmen stormed to a 28-0 lead by halftime Saturday evening, March 20, before cruising to a 42-0 homecoming game victory over visiting Cumberland County High School.

Ray Conner, the new head coach of the Statesmen, said his players had three weeks of practice in preparation for Saturday’s game, and he felt like they adapted well during the course of the contest.

“I felt like defensively, we were able to break the offense down by position and play our assignments, and offensively, we spread the field,” he said.

The Statesmen offense attacked early through the air.

“We threw a lot early to open up the running game, but it ended up being a balanced offense,” Conner said. “We scored three rushing touchdowns and three in the air.”

The coach said senior Peter Jones delivered some excellent, pinpoint throws to senior Justen Staten, as the two connected on three touchdown passes.

Junior Isaiah Brown ran for two touchdowns, and senior Tyshaundre Walton ran for another.

R-H’s defense also stood out, sometimes setting up the offense by forcing turnovers.

“We had some big interceptions — one by Isaiah Brown and (one by freshman) Jaylen Mitter,” Conner said.

On the roster for the 2020-21 Statesmen are 12 freshmen, 11 seniors, seven sophomores and three juniors, and they all had a chance to play Saturday.

“We played everyone, but I’ve got a good mixture of kids that are playing and stepping up and performing well,” Conner said.

Randolph-Henry (1-0), which avoided any injuries Saturday, will play the second game of its three-game schedule Saturday, March 27, at Amelia County High School (2-2). Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.