The junior defensive end, who was virtually unblockable in Friday's 2A quarterfinal against Richfield at Wildcat Stadium in Kamas, pleaded to his teammates to make a final stand deep in Richfield territory and punch another ticket to the state semifinals.
When Brad's older brother, Cole, sacked Richfield quarterback Spencer Henderson with 1:14 remaining, Richfield was faced with a 4th-and-22 and, appropriately, it was the Richins brothers who bull-rushed their opposing offensive tackles and pressured Henderson into throwing a dead duck that landed listlessly on drenched turf.
"You can't overlook anybody when you're playing in the playoffs, even here at home," said Brad Richins, who had a game-high three sacks and 10 tackles. "These guys were tough and we knew we'd have to play hard against them, but we can beat anybody."
The boys in green and white were thoroughly tested as the Richfield defense was able to quell the high-octane South Summit offense -- which averages more than 42 points per game -- for much of the afternoon in Kamas. However, South Summit was able to overcome four turnovers to beat Richfield 21-14.
For the fourth-straight season, South Summit (8-2) advances to the 2A state semifinals and will face the San Juan Broncos (10-0) at Southern Utah University in Cedar City Saturday at 2 p.m.
Before San Juan, which defeated South Summit in the 2A title games in 2009 and 2010, had even won its 2012 2A quarterfinal matchup with Emery, senior captain Jay Reidhead spoke as if he already knew the outcome.
"San Juan took away two state championships from us," he said. "We're going to be ready to go."
To reach the 2A semifinal, South Summit had to overcome one of its sloppiest games of the season against Richfield. South Summit coughed up three first-half fumbles and had a first-quarter punt blocked. However, the defense, headlined by the Richins brothers and the entire South Summit defensive line, kept the Richfield offense in check despite giving the visitors prime field position throughout much of the game.
Richfield missed a 27-yard field-goal attempt in the first quarter and, later on, Brad Richins blocked a 29-yard field-goal attempt and was on his way to returning it for a touchdown when an inadvertent whistle from a referee whistled the play dead.
"Awesome," said South Summit head coach Jerry Parker of his defensive end's effort Friday. "He's a man. He was awesome. He's outstanding. Brad was player of the game, I would say."
It wasn't until midway through the third quarter when senior running back Hayden Packard, who had a game-high 126 yards rushing on eight carries, took a pitch right for a 65-yard run to the Richfield 8-yard line that South Summit's offense snapped out of its daze.
"I think it just woke us up," Reidhead said of the long run. "I think we're not used to pounding stuff out, so when we were doing that it was kind of tough, but it got us going."
On the next play, junior quarterback Caden Christenson lofted a pass in the end zone and Packard watched the ball fall into this arms as South Summit took a 7-0 lead.
But on the ensuing Richfield possession, the Wildcats from central Utah responded with a long drive of their own that concluded with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Henderson to receiver Brennan Thomas.
South Summit bounced back with its own impressive drive, with long runs by Packard, Porter Santos and Reidhead. That led to a phenomenal 21-yard touchdown catch by senior receiver Porter Larsen, who timed his jump perfectly and came down with both feet inbounds in the back of the end zone to give South Summit a 14-7 lead as the third quarter expired.
Early in the fourth quarter, Henderson was tackled and stripped of the ball on the Richfield 11-yard line and South Summit defensive back Nick Vidrine scooped up the ball and dove into the end zone to up the South Summit lead to 21-7 with 8:58 remaining.
Richfield countered with an 80-yard drive to cut the South Summit lead to 21-14, but the South Summit defense was able to quash the final drive by the visitors to the relief of the hometown fans.
"Our field position was horrible and Richfield did a good job of capitalizing on our mistakes. We had quite a few," Parker said. "That week off is hard sometimes; you just get out of rhythm. We've got to get our rhythm back."
Added Reidhead: "Give credit to Richfield. They came out swinging. It was a tough game. A 'W' is a 'W,' though. We're just glad we came out with the win."
South Summit will aim to rediscover its fast-paced, low-turnover rhythm in arguably its biggest test of the season against the San Juan Broncos Saturday in Cedar City. San Juan, which defeated Richfield 40-0 on Sept. 21, averages nearly 38 points per game. The Bronco defense is suffocating, pitching five shutouts and allowing a daunting 4.6 points per game.
"Don't matter how you play this game, you'll always have something to work on going into San Juan," Parker said. "I'll tell you what, we didn't play very well, but this sure beats the alternative."
Following the collective exhale at Wildcat Stadium, fans congratulated players as some South Summit players shook their heads in disbelief at how tough a game Richfield played. But it gave Parker and South Summit another shot at San Juan, a team they've never beaten.
"On their side of it, I don't think they'd call it a rivalry until we stick them with one," he said. "We haven't got one on them yet."