Rams to get offensive and are ready to contend for District 2-3A title

At Richwood High School, the traditional formula for success on the football gridiron has been simple. Great defense + zero mistakes on offense = wins

Richwood Coach Robert Arvie and the Rams’ coaching staff have set the bar high in their team goals for the players this year, but production on offense will be a factor to see those goals come to fruition.

In the evolution of the prep game, the Richwood Rams are looking to get offensive in their approach for their upcoming 2017 season.

“Our expectations are to win District 2-3A and win the 3A state championship,” Arvie said. “We have to score 21+points or more each game to fulfill our goal!”

Don’t expect Richwood to sling it every down on offense, but the Rams will have experience in key positions on offense that have the Rams’ coaching staff with the confidence to open the offensive playbook up more.

Experience at skill positions is the key to Richwood’s success

Richwood will have experience under center as junior quarterback Ashley Holmes (6’0”, 190 pounds) returns for his third season as the Rams’ offensive leader.

Joining Holmes in the Richwood backfield is the returning senior running back Anthony Watson (6’0”, 175 pounds) and junior running back Dankquarrius Johnson (5’8”, 190 pounds).  In nine games in 2016, Watson rushed for 742-yards on 129 carries with 3 touchdowns to lead the Rams in rushing last season.

At the offensive skill positions, Richwood has five impressive receivers led by imposing senior tight end Geor’Quarrius Spivey (6’5”, 225 pounds).  Joining Spivey in the Rams’ receiving core are wide receivers senior Joseph Smith (6’0”, 170 pounds), senior Basheen Hutcherson (5’9”, 160 pounds), senior Hidari Ceasar (6’0”, 175 pounds) and junior Benny Davis (5’10”, 175 pounds).

Spivey was the favorite target of Holmes in 2016 as Spivey had 9 receptions for 53 yards with 1 touchdown.

Up front, Richwood will have senior right tackle Tylor Neal (5’11”, 230 pounds), senior right guard Jabarie Danzie (6’4”, 360 pounds), junior center Geor’Terrius Spivey (5’10”, 230 pounds), senior left guard Roderick Davis (5’10”, 300 pounds) and senior left tackle Christopher Standifer (5’10”, 240 pounds) on the offensive line that will be asked to open up holes for the Rams running backs and protect quarterback Holmes.

Following an uncharacteristic year in 2015 which saw the Richwood defense surrender 249 points in 10 games, the Rams returned to their defensive roots in 2016 as Richwood reduced points scored against to 175 points in 11 games last year.

In order for the Rams to be successful this season, Richwood will need to continue their improvement on the defense.

Leading the way for Richwood defense is a defensive line which has two 300 pounders anchoring the Rams’ first line of defense.

The defensive line features defensive tackles in Quanderius Johnson (6’0”, 300 pounds) and junior Jacorius Lenard (5’11”, 300 pounds) manning the defensive tackle position while senior Jarviar Wade (6’3”, 235 pounds) and junior Jaimarco Major (5’11”, 195 pounds) will anchor the defensive ends spots.

The Richwood linebacker core will have senior Deione Reed (5’11”, 215 pounds), senior Deivone Reed (5’11”, 215 pounds), senior Amiren Williams (5’9”, 160 pounds), senior Basheen Hutcherson (5’8”, 160 pounds) and senior Lastarsky Taylor (6’1”, 184 pounds).

Deione Reed (77 total tackles, 71 solo tackles, 6 assists, 1 sack, 16 tackles for loss, 1 forced fumble and 1 fumble recovery in 8 games in 2016), Deivone Reed (82 total tackles, 79 solo tackles, 3 assists, 1 sack, 13 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble and 3 fumble recoveries in 9 games in 2016) and Amiran Williams (60 total tackles, 50 solo tackles, 10 assists, 3 sacks, 9 tackles for loss and 1 fumble recovery in 8 games in 2016) are the top returners on defense and will be counted on again this season to lead the Rams’ defense.

The Rams secondary will feature junior strong safety Benny Davis (5’10”, 175 pounds), senior free safety Hidari Ceasar (6’0”, 175 pounds), senior defensive back Anthony Watson (6’0”, 175 pounds), senior defensive back Zion Stokes (5’8”, 150 pounds) and junior defensive back Kevin Jackson (5’11”, 170 pounds).  In addition to playing linebacker, Hutcherson might be called upon to fill out the secondary in certain situations.

Defense is not the only area Hutcherson will be asked to pull double duty.  On special teams, Richwood will look to Hutcherson to handle all kicking duties including punting, kickoffs, and field goals and extra points.  Last season, Hutcherson averaged 36.8 yards per punt while placing 5 punts inside their opponent’s 20-yard line.

Richwood will have Christopher Standifer (5’10”, 240 pounds) manning the long snapper position while Holmes is slated for holder duties and Watson will be filling the gunner position on special teams.

Richwood will open its 2017 schedule on Friday, September1 when the Rams play host to their cross-parish rivals Ouachita Parish Lions.

The next two weeks of the 2017 season will see Richwood journey West on Interstate 20 to Shreveport to play the Northwood-Shreveport Falcons on Friday, September 8. The Rams will follow-up with a road trip to Winnsboro to play the Franklin Parish Patriots on Friday, September 15.

On Friday, September 22, Richwood will host Bastrop in a “Battle of the Rams” before having a week 5 open date the week of September 29.

Richwood will open its District 2-3A by hosting the Union Parish Fighting Farmers on Friday, October 6.  The Rams will travel North on Highway 165 to Monroe to battle the Carroll Bulldogs on Friday, October 13.

The Wossman Wildcats will enter Richwood’s Mackie Freeze Stadium on Friday, October 20.  The Rams will travel to Tallulah to contend with the Madison Parish Jaguars on Friday, October 27 before closing out its regular and district schedule on Thursday, November 2 at home against the 2016 LHSAA Class 2A state champion Sterlington Panthers.

RICHWOOD RAMS SIDE BAR

Richwood Head Coach: Robert Arvie (4th Season, Overall Record: 11-21, District Record: 7-7)

Richwood Assistant Coaches: Lavelle Wilson, Jr., Brad Morace, Marcus Lindsey, Ryan Porter, Adrienne Manning, Dexter Houston, Glen Ellis, Randy Peters, Brian Morrow and Oliver Jackson.

Richwood Home Football Stadium: Mackie Freeze Memorial Stadium (Artificial Turf)

Richwood Rams’ Past Five Seasons:

2016 Overall Record: 6-5 District Record: 3-2 (District 2-3A Second Place, Class 3A Playoff Qualifier)

2015Overall Record: 2-8 District Record: 2-3 (District 2-3A Second Place, did not make the playoffs)

2014 Overall Record: 3-8 District Record: 2-2 (District 2-3A Fourth Place, Class 3A Playoff Qualifier)

2013 Overall Record: 8-4 District Record: 3-1 (District 2-3A Second Place, Regional Playoff Qualifier)

2012 Overall Record: 4-6 District Record: 3-1 (District 2-3A Second Place, did not make the playoffs)

State Championship Season(s): 1- 1974 (Defeated Bolton 28-8 in the Class 3A state title game)

State Runner-Up Season(s): 1 – 1970 (Lost to Hammond 23-12 in Class 3A state title game)

State Semifinalist Season(s): 5 – 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979

State Quarterfinalist Season(s): 9 – 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1979, 2004, 2006, 2008

State Playoff Season(s): 22 – 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1985, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016)