It wasn’t the outcome that Rickards had hoped for as it dropped Thursday night’s game to Godby, 38-22. But it was really never about the city championship, according to Rickards coach Quintin Lewis.
“This was obviously a tough loss for my guys tonight,” Lewis said. “But I have to keep them focused. It’s never been about winning the local title, especially playing great teams like Lincoln and Godby. It’s about the state tournament and they know that.”
The Raiders will have a bye week next weekend, but it won’t be all fun and games. It’s just what they need to prepare for what is now their biggest game of the season, at District 2-5A foe Wakulla High on Nov. 1.
It’s simple: if they win, they’re in the playoffs. And a trip to the postseason could lead to a rematch with Godby, and this hasn’t gone unnoticed to senior quarterback Charlie Kelly. Kelly was 21-for-38 for 270 yards and a rushing touchdown on Thursdsay.
“We know we had some chances tonight to win this game,” Kelly said.
“But we just have to get back to work tomorrow because our season isn’t over yet. It’s all about the state tournament for us, and we know we have a huge game in a couple weeks against Wakulla that we have to win. And that’s exactly what we have to do to get another shot at Godby in the tournament.”
The seven wins that Rickards went into Thursday night’s game with already tops the last decade’s worth of win columns for the Raiders’ football team, and they’re only getting better. The little mistakes that they have avoided through the first seven weeks of the season lead to their downfall on Thursday.
But they know what they have to do, and more importantly, they know where they want to go.
“I can’t tell my guys enough to keep their focus on the playoffs,” coach Lewis said.
“That is everything we’ve been working towards. All of the hard work – the sweat, the tears, everything we’ve done. It’s all been for that, and we don’t plan on turning back now.”