The Richmond High Oilers hosted the Hercules Titans and suffered a crushing, 46-0 defeat Friday night. Despite the loss, the Oilers’ homecoming crowd buzzed with support in the stands.
Fans lined the stands in heavy coats, and sat draped in blankets on the chilly Friday night, but the brisk weather did not deter spirits. Energized by their home crowd, the Oilers took the field with the hopes of securing a second win (1-6) this season.
But the Hercules Titans (6-1) had other plans. They took an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter after sustaining a quick drive to the end zone. The Oilers’ defensive line — which had lost Benjamin Gannon to a concussion, and Cesar Munoz to a knee injury – couldn’t contain the Titans’ offense.
On their first offensive drive, the Oilers went three and out, failing to get anything going. Hercules took over on downs, but then Oilers cornerback Demonty Harrell (who doubles as the quarterback) picked off a long pass over the middle of the field from Hercules quarterback Anthony Vasquez and ran it back nearly 30 yards. The home crowd went wild.
The yards after the catch were ultimately called back due to a penalty, but Richmond retained possession of the ball and the turnover breathed new life into the Oilers offense.
There was one other moment of glory for Richmond, aside from that interception. Running back Armani Norton got the crowd hyped later in the first half when, on third-and-long, he darted down the field 20 yards for an Oiler first down. Despite the good field position within the Titans’ 30-yard line, Richmond High did not score.
Hercules on the other hand had no difficulty piling on the points. At the half, the Titans led 23-0, and the Oilers were reeling.
The homecoming dance started at 8 p.m., during the third quarter, and around that time, many of the Richmond High students filed out of the stadium.
Despite the loss, a few Oilers racked up some fairly impressive stats. Running back Norton led the ground game with 150 yards, while Eric Silva led the team in tackles with 14, several of which came in the backfield. Quarterback Harrell went 8-of-20 on the night, for just under 90 yards. He also threw one interception.
Richmond falls to 1-6 on the season, coming off their first victory of the season, a 50-0 thrashing of John Swett High School last week.