Red Raiders set sights on Eastern Randolph
With another convincing performance, the T.W. Andrews football team is homing in on its second straight PAC-6 2A title and looking more and more like a team that could go deep in the playoffs.
The Red Raiders (6-1, 2-0) handled Randleman (6-2, 1-1) — one of their toughest opponents — with ease in a 42-10 win Friday and will next challenge Eastern Randolph for the outright lead heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
“We just did great — I’m so happy,” said senior quarterback Lamar Raynard, who had a stellar game with 8-of-11 passing for 122 yards and three touchdowns, with a broad smile. “It’s a big confidence boost. But this win’s over with, and we have to focus on next week.”
Since losing to High Point Central 27-7 in week 1, Andrews has obliterated its opponents — Friday’s 32-point win being the closest of its six straight wins — and matches up well in its remaining games against Eastern Randolph (5-3, 2-0), Wheatmore and Trinity.
In Friday’s game, the Red Raiders established the run behind backs Marquell Cartwright (134 yards, TD) and Rontei Wilkes (90 yards, two TDs), which in turn opened the defense for Raynard and the receivers – mainly Justin Lea (56 yards, two TDs) — to lead 28-10 by halftime.
“I thought we got off to a good start,” coach Rodney McKoy said. “I thought Coach (Kelly) Clark and Coach (Eric) Berry had some good plans for how we were going to attack them. They came out in something a little different than we anticipated. So, we had to make some adjustments, and we did.
“We’re a run-first team. But what’s so deceptive is our quarterback. The plays he made, I think, made the difference in the game. Teams expect us to run the ball. But, to me, our quarterback made the difference between us being good and us being really great today.”
So now, with every game increasing in importance, Andrews looks to remain focused, keep improving and keep winning as it gets closer to achieving the goals it set forth in the preseason: to win a conference title, earn a high playoff seed and win a state championship.
“There’s always room for improvement,” Raynard said. “I’d grade us at about an 80 (right now). We can get better on every part. I can get better, the defense can get better, the running backs can get better — everyone can get better. I think we can do that and accomplish our goals.”