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Knights Advance With Win Over Richlands In Region Final

Cave Spring running back Sam Wright turns the corner for a 28-yard touchdown run in the first quarter.

by Bill Turner

Cave Spring running back Sam Wright provided the offense and the Knight defense stepped up to shut down Richlands in the second half, as Cave Spring calmed the Blue Tornado 35-21 Friday night at Ernie Hicks Stadium in Richlands.

Wright ran for 303 yards and scored all five Cave Spring touchdowns to lead the Knights into this Saturday’s state semifinal against undefeated Brookville at Dwight Bogle Stadium.

 The Region IV Division 3 championship win avenged Cave Spring’s 36-23 loss in the title game against Richlands played on the same field last year.

With a standing-room-only partisan Richlands crowd looking on, the Blue Tornado wasted little time getting on the scoreboard. Richlands took the opening kickoff and marched down the field for an early 7-0 lead.

Cave Spring, however, had the answer with Wright. Riddling the Blue Tornado defense, Wright scored on back-to-back possessions from 49 and 29 yards out to give Cave Spring the 14-7 lead after one quarter.

Richlands tied the game at 14 early in the second when running back Devon Johnson walked in from 4-yards out. That led to offensive fireworks to close out the first half, as the two teams combined for 21 points in the last 47 seconds.

Wright put the Knights up 21-14 on a 3-yard run and, when Richlands mishandled the ensuing kickoff, Cave Spring recovered. On the next play, Wright scored from 32-yards out, putting the Knights up 28-14. The margin was short lived, however, as Richlands connected on a 46-yard bomb from Blue Tornado quarterback Reece Strong to Johnson with 20 seconds left. The teams went to the locker room with Cave Spring clinging to the 28-21 lead and Richlands sensing the momentum.

Cave Spring turned the tide to start the second half. Opening at their own 10-yard line, the Knights went on a 12-play drive that consumed over half of the third quarter. Wright again applied the final punch, beating the Richlands defense to the right side to score from 26-yards. Jordan Bryant added his fifth conversion of the game for the 35-21 advantage.

The Cave Spring defense rose to the occasion and shut down the potent Blue Tornado offense, which had posted over 500 points this season, the rest of the way.

“The key to the game was the third quarter drive that used up almost seven minutes,” Cave Spring head coach Tim Fulton noted as the Knights raised the championship trophy. “We gathered ourselves at halftime. It was an excellent effort tonight. This is such a great group.”

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