Riverside's Aaron Halstead looks for running room as Capital's Khalil Bush tries to make the stop.
Music blasted from the speakers in the locker room. Players smiled and congratulated each other. It's been three weeks since they felt this way after a game.Thanks to James Richmond and Kashaun Haley, Capital was able to enjoy that winning feeling again.Haley rushed for 134 yards on just six carries and scored a touchdown as Capital ended a two-game losing streak by defeating Riverside 35-16 Friday night at Laidley Field."This was a very important game after losing two straight games," Haley said. "We worked really hard in practice this week. We knew it was going to be hard this week because we were only dressing one senior, but we were still able to pull out the win."
Haley also scored touchdowns on a 90-yard interception return right before the first half ended and also a 92-yard punt return.Richmond shared similar sentiments about the importance of Friday's game."This game was probably the biggest game of the season," Richmond added. "It was important that we bounced back tonight. Everybody kept their heads up despite the losses and we came out and played as one team today."Richmond finished the game with 138 yards on 12 carries and two touchdowns."We are better when we get both of them [Richmond and Haley] on the field," said Capital coach Jon Carpenter. "They don't realize how good they can be and how good our football team will be because of them. My job is to make sure they are cohesive because I don't think there many around better than those two guys. Tyrell Davis is just as good as them. If we ever get all three guys working at the same time, then I don't think there is a limit to how good they can be."Davis had just 8 yards on three carries, but had an 89-yard punt return for a touchdown nullified by a block in the back penalty.Capital (4-2) has three of its next four games against highly ranked opponents (No.1 Cabell Midland, No. 5 GW, and No. 4 Huntington). It also has to play Woodrow Wilson. Fortunately for the Cougars, three of those games are at home.After two four-and-outs by both teams and a fumble by Riverside (1-5), the Cougars took advantage of a roughing the passer penalty which made it fourth-and-12 instead of fourth-and-27. On the next play, Haley faked the punt and scampered 21 yards for a first down. Five plays later, Richmond scored on a 34-yard run.After an Austin Romaca 32-yard field goal to make the score 7-3, Haley answered with a 68-yard touchdown run in which he stiff-armed a Riverside defender on his way into the end zone.Riverside answered back with a Trevor Rumberg 1-yard run with five minutes left in the half. But the Cougars took the lead and the momentum into halftime when Haley returned a desperation Hail Mary pass 90 yards for a touchdown as he zigged and zagged across the field."I was tired and out of breath," Haley said with a smile. "I thought I was going to get caught, but I kept saying in my head, 'Keep pushing'. I was able to pick up a key block."
At the half, the Cougars led 21-10 and never relinquished the lead.Haley added onto the lead in the second half with his 92-yard punt return and Richmond scored on a 2-yard run. The Warriors added a late score on a Marcus Reed 61-yard reception from Rumberg.Rumberg led the Warriors with 250 passing yards and a touchdown along with a rushing score.