By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
Having missed his entire junior season because of knee surgery, Porter’s Jacob Richardson thinks he’s starting to hit his stride.
That’s understating it a bit considering his numbers in last Friday’s 58-51 loss to District A-8 unbeaten Summit Christian.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior rushed for 375 yards and six touchdowns. The monumental effort just wasn’t enough for the Pirates to pull off the upset in falling to 1-5 on the season.
He did it as part of a rotation at both tailback and quarterback. It’s a mix that had his head coach, Ron Coppedge, re-evaluating.
“We’ve had him full-time at strong safety and he comes in at quarterback to run our zone read but we’ve had to give him some breaks on that side of the ball,” Coppedge said.
It hit home on a 60-yard scoring run in the second quarter.
“I thought to myself, ‘I must be stupid,’” Coppedge said. “We have to rest him but they simply couldn’t tackle him. He really needs to be at tailback.”
Richardson was the quarterback after Summit Christian struck on back-to-back drives, aided by an successful onside kick and getting the two-point conversion on the final TD with under three minutes to play. With Summit guarding against the run, Coppedge opted to let Richardson strike through the air.
“We had a drop and then he tried to force one that they picked off,” Coppedge said. “We were up against the clock and we asked him to do some things he just hasn’t done. He really hasn’t thrown the ball much.”
Nor has he scampered anywhere near the way he did Friday night. The younger brother of former Muskogee High standout Pete Richardson, who went on to play at Texas Tech as a defensive back before finishing at Harding University, had yet to break 100 yards this season.
“I’m just now beginning to feel comfortable,” he said. “I got the ball a whole lot last night and I got to where I felt in a rhythm.
"Watching them on film, they had a great passing game and I thought we’d have trouble defending it, but at the same time I thought we could have some success running against them because other teams had."
The surgery last season dealt with cartilage removal, something he wanted to get done and over in time for basketball, where he won his second consecutive All-Phoenix MVP last season.
Richardson, Coppedge and company have seen both the A-8 co-leaders, having lost to Warner 40-6. Those two teams meet in Broken Arrow this Friday and both Coppedge and Richardson give the edge to Warner for one primary reason.
"They’re definitely more physical," Richardson said.
Jamaul Cullom, Hilldale – 26 carries for 241 yards and three touchdowns, including a 57-yard run, seven tackles and a pass breakup in a 48-6 win over Lincoln Christian.
Jake Gandara, Fort Gibson — 16 carries for 230 yards, including an 89-yard run, and five TDs in a 49-21 win over Poteau.
J.R. Singleton, Fort Gibson — 20 carries for 101 yards.
Zach Peterson, Fort Gibson — Had an interception and a fumble recovery.
Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner — 211 yards on 11 carries and four touchdowns. Two catches for 88 yards and a score.
Decarius Clark, Wagoner — 10-of-15 passing for 193 yards and a touchdown; also rushed for a pair of scores.
Sammy Richardson, Muskogee — 12 carries for 90 yards and a touchdown and an interception in Muskogee’s 33-7 win over Edison.
Trevor Jiles, Muskogee — 17 of 27 passing for 227 yards in a 33-7 win over Edison.
Bryson Bell, Muskogee — 3 catches for 67 yards.
Jacob Richardson, Porter — 372 yards rushing on 30 carries and six touchdowns, including a 75-yard run, in a 58-51 loss to unbeaten Summit Christian. Also had 14 tackles, two for loss.
Alex Wheeland, Haskell — Completed 8 of 13 passes for 194 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-14 win over Tishomingo.
Rowdy Simon, Vian — Eight carries for 125 yards and two touchdowns in a 53-0 win over Keys.
Rylee Simon, Vian — 14 tackles, a blocked punt and a sack.
Eric Casey, Vian — Two catches, both TDs, for 88 yards.
Landon Decker, Vian — 5-of-7 passing for 126 yards and three touchdowns.
Tyler Addy, Checotah — 10-of-17 passing for 279 yards and four touchdowns in a 48-18 win over Heavener.
Deondre Owens, Checotah — Six receptions for 198 yards and four TDs.
Brayden Scott, Sequoyah — 13-of-23 for 184 yards and five touchdowns in a 47-13 win over Westville.
Niko Hammer, Sequoyah — Four catches, 67 yards and two touchdowns.
Cade Shearwood, Stigler — 29 carries, 196 yards and two touchdowns and 6-of-11 passing for 104 yards in a 35-32 win over Roland.
Colton Shearwood, Stigler — Four catches, 84 yards.
Seth Sandlin, Stigler — 12 carries, 90 yards and two TDs.