Providence Academy's 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior running back Ryan Richelson was unstoppable Saturday, rushing for 159 yards on just 13 carries and four touchdowns.
Providence Academy's 6-foot-2, 215-pound senior running back Ryan Richelson was unstoppable Saturday, rushing for 159 yards on just 13 carries and four touchdowns against the Crookston Pirates in the season opener for both squads at Ed Widseth Field in Crookston.
"They are a big, physical, good football team," Pirate head coach Scott Butt said. "It was a long afternoon. (Richelson) is a big kid and he's fast. You've got to have everybody there to tackle him. I didn't think he was that fast on film, but he runs extremely well."
Richelson rushed his first in from ten yards out with 5:35 left in the first quarter. His second, he bolted 80 yards for the score with 9:58 left in the second quarter, giving Providence a 12-0 lead at halftime. Richelson scored his third with 4:38 left in the third quarter on an eight-yard run and rushed in the two-point conversion. His fourth and final touchdown came with 1:50 left in the third on a 22-yard run. A two-point conversion run by Conor White gave Providence a 28-0 lead.
White finished out the scoring with 10:14 left in the fourth quarter on a 21-yard touchdown run. A failed extra point left the score at 34-0.
Mental mistakes plagued the Pirates for the most of the game.
"We have to get better with mental mistakes," coach Butt said. "I understand some of them. We talk everyday in practice about taking care of little things so they don't turn into big things. Mental errors mean you've lost focus. I really believe we'll get them corrected."
Crookston struggled to get much going offensively, recording just 110 total yards.
Senior running back Aaron Hollcraft rushed 29 yards on 10 attempts, while senior fullback Mikey Hajostek had 28 yards on seven carries. Senior Brandt Delage had 17 yards on seven carries.
Senior quarterback Parker Salentine finished 2-of-13 passing for 16 yards. Senior quarterback Seth Desrosier played one series in the first half and completed 1-of-2 passes for 17 yards.
"It was a tough day on offense," coach Butt said. "We showed signs of life and then we would shoot ourselves in the foot. The biggest takeaway was it was not from a lack of effort. We were just out-manned up front. Our offensive line was out-manned. When we used proper technique we did a good job, but when we bailed on our technique it went to heck.
"We have two weeks to see how big of strides we are going to make from games one and two," coach Butt continued. "Parker did a lot of good things. Aaron and Mikey ran hard. There was just not a lot of room to run. I know for a fact we can play better than that offensively."
Providence attempted just eight passes, completing two for minus four yards.
"With our defense you look at it and the number of yards we gave up, but we played OK but not great," coach Butt said. "It was uncharacteristic of us. We were too happy to get up the field and it opened up running lanes for them. Our secondary played OK. We need to come up and tackle. We need to do a better job of tackling and team tackling. We are not getting all 11 to the ball."
White finished with 78 yards on seven carries, while Jackson Baird had 53 yards on eight carries.
The Pirates have next week off to correct their mistakes and will host Section 8AA foe Barnesville Friday, Sept. 5. The opening kick off is set for 7 p.m.