Down 20, Long Reach rallies to win, 42-33

Lightning improves to 7-0 as Richardson breaks two long touchdown runs

Football

High Schools

October 16, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

Long Reach is noted mainly for its defense. Entering last night's game against three-time defending Howard County champ Glenelg, the Lightning had seven shutouts and allowed 26 points in their past 10 games.

So when Glenelg jumped out to a 20-0 lead, with 10:25 left in the second quarter, things looked bleak for Long Reach in a battle of unbeaten teams in Columbia.

But the Lightning offense suddenly came to life against the No. 12-ranked Gladiators, and Long Reach ended the evening with a 42-33 victory.

"Going down 20-0 was kind of a shock, but no one gave up," said Landon Tews, a sophomore strong safety. "Our linebacker, Brian Taylor, kept us in the game with his leadership. We knew we weren't getting blown out."

A 33-yard kickoff return by Tews sparked Long Reach's first touchdown with 8:35 left in the first half.

A fumble recovery by Eugene Lightfoot at Glenelg's 25-yard line set up a second touchdown with 4:13 left in the half. Long Reach (7-0 overall, 7-0 league) went to the locker room at halftime trailing 20-14.

But Glenelg (6-1, 6-1) opened the second half by marching 70 yards on seven plays for a touchdown and a 26-14 lead.

But then Long Reach's Keith Richardson, a sophomore transfer from North Carolina who returned two punts for touchdowns earlier this season, took a kickoff back 90 yards for six points.

"With weapons like Richardson and Ken King, you can score anytime," said Long Reach coach Pete Hughes.

Glenelg nearly retaliated when Blake Mullinix ran 52 yards on first down to Long Reach's 9-yard line following the Long Reach kickoff. But on second down, Glenelg quarterback Justin Field was hit with a blindside tackle and fumbled, and Tews recovered for Long Reach.

The Lightning then covered 75 yards in just three plays, ending with a 64-yard touchdown run by Richardson that, with a point-after kick, gave Long Reach a 28-26 lead.

Long Reach quarterback Ray Gilbert completed four of nine passes for 158 yards. Richardson rushed eight times for 109 yards.

Glenelg's Blake Mullinix rushed for 165 yards on 12 carries, and Stephen Bullard rushed 12 times for 82 yards.

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