The Richmond Heights offense continues to roll, but its special teams cost the Spartans big time in a 46-34 loss to Cardinal Friday at home.
In the first half, the Spartans fumbled two kickoffs that led to two Huskie touchdowns. That set them back. The Spartans rallied to pull within 37-34, but Cardinal put the game away with a late touchdown.
Coach William Cloud knows those special teams errors cost the Spartans dearly.
"We have to minimize our turnovers on special teams," Cloud said.
The Huskies also returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
That offset an amazing game by Rico Jones, who caught four passes for 153 yards, rushed five times for 156 yards and led the team with 11 tackles and one interception. He scored three touchdowns, two rushing and one receiving and he set a school record with a 97-yard touchdown run.
Arthur Christian completed 7 of 19 passes for 229 yards with three touchdowns. He also rushed eight times for 43 yards. Jimmy Virant caught a 60-yard touchdown pass.
Richmond Heights is averaging 34.2 points per game, but they've lost three straight. The Spartans are 1-4 and 0-2 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Metro Division. Cardinal is now 4-1, 1-1.
"We can see the program is turning," Cloud said. "We have more players, but you see where the inexperience comes into play. We're still thin. Every week we take two steps forward, but we have to eliminate the one step back."
Richmond Heights has 30 players.
Next up for Richmond Heights is Newbury (3-2, 0-2), which has lost two straight including a 53-7 drubbing by Hawken School.
"We have to stay consistent with our game plan," Cloud said. "This (last) week we played our best defense, but we still gave up a lot of rushing yards."
The Spartans schedule only gets harder as they only have one team on the schedule right now that has a losing record (Lutheran East at 0-5). After Newbury, comes Beachwood at 4-1, Hawken at 5-0, Fairport Harbor at 4-1 and Cuyahoga Heights at 4-1. However, three of the five remaining games are at home.
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