The break is over for Richmond football.
After receiving a bye in the opening round of the Class 5A Sectional 13 tournament, the Red Devils are ready to get back to work — and ready to make a second trip to Anderson this season.
RHS will battle the Indians at 7 p.m. this Friday in a Sectional 13 semifinal. Zionsville (4-5) travels to Indianapolis Cathedral (5-5) in the other semifinal. The winners will meet in a sectional final Nov. 8.
Richmond (7-2) defeated Anderson 48-26 on Sept. 6 on the way to repeating as champions of the North Central Conference.
RHS coach Matt Holeva expects a different ballgame this time around.
“They’ve gotten better throughout the season,” Holeva said of the Indians, who come into Friday’s game at 3-6. “The first time we played them, they had some kids out. They have three or four kids back, and one is a stud running back who will make a big difference for them.
“They’re going to have a couple of kids they can rotate in the backfield.”
Running back Jerian Beard did not play for Anderson in the Indians’ first matchup with the Red Devils. Tyler Welch handled the bulk of the backfield duties that game, and Welch also led the Indians in rushing in their most recent game. Welch gained 55 yards on the ground and returned a kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown in a 42-7 loss to Kokomo on Oct. 18.
“We’re going to have to contain their athletes on the defensive side,” Holeva said. “On the offensive side, we’re going to have to take care of the football. I don’t think we can give them any turnovers.”
Richmond’s last game was a 28-14 win over Logansport at Lyboult Field on Oct. 18 that locked up an outright NCC title for the Red Devils.
Jordan Christian threw three touchdown passes that game — two to Matt Morrow — as RHS earned a 25th overall conference championship.
The week that followed was a little different, though, as there was no game waiting for the Red Devils last Friday night.
Holeva said he expects both Dillan Delucio and Derek Williams to suit up this week. Both missed Richmond’s last game with injuries.
“I thought it was a good opportunity to get a little rest — let the kids rest a little bit and just get away from football for a little while and do family things and continue working on grades,” Holeva said.
” … We came in Saturday, and it was back to business.”
The regular-season contest at Anderson was the starting debut under center for the sophomore QB Christian.
He performed well, throwing for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns.
Richmond also benefited from a kickoff return for a touchdown by Trey Sanders and an interception return TD by Jailen Hampton.
“I think we were searching a little bit for an identity on offense,” Holeva said. “I do think we’re going to have to come ready to play. Anderson is better. … I’m sure from Anderson’s perspective … if they just minimized some plays here or there, I think they are right in the ballgame.”
Indianapolis Cathedral defeated Decatur Central 54-26 last week in Sectional 13’s only opening-round game.
Cathedral was ranked fifth in the final Associated Press Class 5A state poll. Zionsville and Decatur Central tied for 12th, and Richmond was 14th.
A win against Anderson would give the Red Devils a home game for the Nov. 8 sectional final.
“We just hope that we have a good outing,” Holeva said.