NEWPORT NEWS—Not even a schedule change that limited Menchville to two days of preparation for Eastern District foe Wilson could keep the Monarchs from their annual appointment with victory.
Menchville has only five wins in its past 22 outings, but Thursday night at Todd Stadium marked the third straight year it has victimized Wilson.
With the game moved up from Saturday to avoid the threat of Tropical Storm Hanna, the Monarchs had two practices since an opening thumping by Heritage. They used that time to focus on their best athlete, Clifton Richardson, whose kickoff and interception returns for touchdowns lifted Menchville to a 22-12 win.
During the short work week, Richardson shifted from quarterback to wideout, free safety and return specialist. He thrived in all three positions, generating 192 yards and nabbing two interceptions.
"I told Coach (John Byron) that whatever helped the team, whatever was needed, I'd do," Richardson said.
After falling behind 6-0 when Wilson (0-2) scored on its opening drive, Menchville (1-1 overall, 0-1 Peninsula District) countered with a reverse on the ensuing kickoff. The ball ended up with Richardson, who eluded all would-be tacklers, dancing down the right sideline for an 87-yard score.
Menchville's first possession of the second quarter produced a 24-yard field goal by Austin Norton that put the Monarchs ahead for good at 9-6.
Just under three minutes before halftime, Presidents quarterback Daquan Sanders overthrew a fly pattern and Richardson turned the mistake into 38-yard interception return for a TD and a 16-6 edge.
Harvey Williams scooped up a fumble at the Wilson 28 two plays later and Henry Booth led the Monarchs to the end zone, clicking on two straight passes, including a 15-yard scoring strike to Brandon Williams to secure a 22-6 halftime lead.
Menchville built that lead even though it generated only 15 yards of first-half offense.
Sanders scored his second touchdown of the game on the last play of the third quarter to draw Wilson within 22-12, but the Presidents never threatened again.
"When you have an athlete like that (Richardson), you've just got to get him the ball," Byron said. "... We felt like we were a much better football team against Heritage, but we made about five turnovers. Tonight, we reversed that and that created some momentum."
MENCHVILLE 22, WILSON 12
|Wilson||6060 — 12|
|Menchville||61600 — 22|
M — Richardson 87 kickoff return (kick failed)
M — FG Norton 24
M — Richardson 38 interception return (Norton kick)
M — B. Williams 15 pass from Booth (kick failed)
W — Sanders 1 run (run failed)