Defense wins championships.
Oh, and having an explosive offense doesn’t hurt either.
Richmond used its roster of weapons on both sides of the ball in The Swamp to show the packed crowd they deserved to be named Blue Water Area Conference champions.
And, with the 28-13 win over previously unbeaten Algonac, the Blue Devils did just that as they completed their undefeated BWAC season to win the title for the third time in four seasons.
On offense, the Blue Devils found a reliable aerial attack led by quarterback Chase Churchill and highlighted by fourth quarter touchdown passes to Patrick McCloskey and Kyle Tschiggfrey. On the ground they found the inches when they needed them as D’Sean Hamilton ran in two scores for Richmond.
On defense, Hamilton and Tschiggfrey each had an interception to keep the Muskrats offense from doing damage.
Brendan Piper also ran in a touchdown for Algonac and connected with Nick Folkerts through the air at the end of the game.
The first half did not disappoint eager fans as it was highlight after highlight.
Richmond started the night with a solid drive that was just a few feet short of ending in points as Evan Quigley’s 37-yard field goal was just short. However, the Blue Devils got another shot to put up points as Hamilton intercepted Algonac on the Muskrats’ first offensive play to set the Blue Devils up on the 13 yard line.
However, has they’ve done all season, the Muskrats held firm in the red zone and forced a four-and-out to have the home crowd erupt.
In the second quarter, Richmond’s offense strung together explosive plays to strike first. The big play of the 70-yard drive came on 3rd and five at midfield when Churchill found Anthony Tavano for a 31-yard gain.
D’Sean Hamilton put the finishing touches on the drive with a five-yard touchdown run to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead with 8:05 left in the first half.
Richmond was cooking once again, driving all the way down to the 17 yard line. Algonac’s Joe McKee had different ideas, intercepting Richmond in the end zone with less than two minutes remaining in the half.
The Blue Devils proved they could do that as well with Kyle Tschiggfrey intercepting Algonac inside the red zone with 10 seconds left on the clock.
After the Richmond defense forced a turnover on downs on its own 43 yard line to begin the second half, the Blue Devils offense went back to work. With a steady dose of runs, Hamilton capped off another drive with a three-yard touchdown run for a 14-0 lead with 1:35 to go in the third quarter.
Needing a quick response, Algonac put the ball in the hands of the speedy Brendan Piperand watched him run 61 yards for a touchdown as the third quarter expired.
All it took was one minute for Richmond to grow that lead back to 14 points as Churchill found a wide-open Patrick McCloskey for a 71 yard touchdown. With another good kick from Evan Quigley, the Blue Devils lead was 21-7 with 11 minutes to play.
With under five minutes to play and Richmond bleeding out the clock, the Blue Devils threw an exclamation point with a 40 yard touchdown pass to Tschiggfrey.
With 53 seconds left, Piper connected with Folkerts on a seven yard score to make it 28-13.