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The Royals have fought hard all season and posted strong wins over the likes of Red Oak, Birdville, and more to include last week's strong 34-27 win over Mansfield Legacy. The offense has put in the work to help lead Richland to a 6-3 overall record. They head into the last regular game of the season in the number four spot in their district with a 3-3 district record.
With an offense that has proven to be tough this year, fans should keep their eye on quarterback CJ Nelson who has thrown 15 touchdowns on the season with 1,746 passing yards. Nelson has also rushed for 12 touchdowns on 647 rushing yards and 95 carries. Senior EJ Gipson is another strong player to watch for on Thursday evening. Gipson has scored nine rushing touchdowns while tallying 841 rushing yards on 164 carries.
The Panthers come into Thursday night's game sitting at the number three spot in their district. Although they have had some strong wins this season, the team suffered a 42-21 loss last week against Mansfield Summit. They are going to want to use that disappointing loss headed into the game to fire their want for a stronger matchup against Richland.
Junior quarterback Chad Ragel has been great for the Panthers this season getting the ball into the hands of who needs it, but the biggest threat fans are going to need to watch Thursday is junior Deago Benson. Benson has rushed for 11 touchdowns this season with 934 rushing yards. The defense will also play a major role on Thursday as they look to try and put a stop to Nelson's strong season.
There's no doubt that both teams want to walk away with a strong win this week to close out the regular season. Although Midlothian has proven to be a tough competitor on the field, the question lies as to whether or not the team can put a halt to Richland's strong group of offensive players. It's going to be a competitive matchup, but at the end of the game it's possible that Richland just might have what it takes to deal a loss to Midlothian.
Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday night. If you are unable to make it to Midlothian for the game, be sure you are tuning in on CW33 for all the action!