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Wildcats starting to get some love

POSTED: October 4, 2012 6:44 p.m.

It looks like Richmond Hill High School’s 20-17 win over Glynn Academy has resonated beyond local prep football circles.

The Wildcats are one of just 13 unbeaten and unranked team left in Georgia, according to the Georgia High School Football Daily Newsletter. They also may be starting to open some eyes outside the Coastal Empire.

Here’s what GHSFD had to say:

“*Richmond Hill (4-0): The 20-17 victory over Glynn Academy last week (avenging a 44-27 loss last year) sets up Richmond Hill as perhaps the team mostly likely to challenge Ware County (4-1) in Region 3-AAAAA.Richmond Hill has not made the playoffs since 1996.Richmond Hill averages three passes per game. Instead, look for the ball in the hands of running QB Dominique Allen (53-363-7) or RB David Katzman (50-405-4). Both are going to Air Force, though Katzman might not play football there. PK Canon Rooker, committed to Middle Tennessee, is a weapon. Opponents are beginning to run away from LB Zach Stegner, who has a team-leading 17 solo tackles and two fumble recoveries.”

Amazing what a win over a respected opponent will do. Earlier this year, the Wildcats were projected to earn the No. 4 seed from the same region. Now they’re in the hunt for the title.

At any rate, while a lot has been made of the Wildcats’ offense, and rightfully so,Richmond Hill’s defense has been playing lights out.

Stegner, who should have a future in college football if he chooses to play, leads a very good and well coached group that was limiting opponents to 2 points a game heading into the Glynn Academy contest. And in that one, Wildcat defenders really only allowed 3 points.

Among the ringleaders along with Stegner are senior linebacker Zhane Roberts, who has 16 solo tackles, senior linebacker Ethan Bowling with 14, and junior linebackers Logan Ravita, Demetrius Williams and Nathan Soliata with 15, 12 and 13 solo tackles, respectively.

Defensive linemen Johnathan Thomas, Taylor Hayes and DJ Hall are among the team's leaders as well.

See the attachment to get the Wildcats season defensive and offensive statistics to date.

Up next:

Friday the Wildcats faceGrovesin another Region 3-AAAAA matchup. The Rebels are still looking for their first win (0-4, 0-1) after falling 28-20 to Jenkins last week.

The Rebels’ first three games included a 48-0 loss to Screven County in the season opener, a 37-7 setback at the hands of Beaufort (S.C.) and a 62-12 loss to Brunswick two weeks ago.

Senior quarterback Jessie Robbins (5-10, 170) leads an offense that has done more damage through the air than on the ground.

If the stats on Groves’ page is correct, the Rebels have yet to have a running back crack the 100 yard mark for the season.

Senior Tyre’ Robinson (5-10, 200) is the team’s leading rusher with 88 yards on 35 carries. Robbins has 17 carries for -11 yards, but has scoredGroves’ only touchdown on the ground so far – an 11-yard TD run.

Despite Groves’ lack of onfield success to date,Richmond Hill coach Lyman Guy said his team isn’t taking the Rebels lightly.

“They’ve probably got the most athletic quarterback we’ve faced so far,” Guy said. “They’re very talented skill-wise. And they played well against Jenkins, which is one of the top teams in our region.”

As for the Rebels’ passing attack, Robbins has connected on 28 of 67 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also been intercepted three times.

Senior Thomas Fields (6-2, 164) is the team’s top receiver with nine catches for 194 yards and three touchdowns. Senior running back Sa’mar Osborne (5-8, 165) has 17 catches for 144 yard.

They’ll test a Wildcats defense that has shown a propensity for making big plays. Six different players have picked off a pass for Richmond Hill so far this year: Bowling, Hall, anzell Blow, Ian Chandler, Darius Brown and Tommy Washington each have an interception.

Notes: Groves only has 43 players on the team’s roster, and most are listed as two way players. At least they’ve got something on maxpreps. Though the Georgia High School Association publicized maxpreps as its official internet partner and put out a memo asking coaches to send information to the website, it seems to be a hit and miss proposition among schools so far. Some do send maxpreps the information, some don’t.

- Quanzell Blow is a great football name.   - Friday night is homecoming. Expect a crowd. Get there early.

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