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Wildcats steamroll Brantley 52-0

POSTED: August 31, 2017 11:28 p.m.

Richmond Hill got seven touchdowns from seven different players en route to a 52-0 win at home against Brantley County Thursday night.

The start of the game was delayed 80 minutes due to heavy rains and lightning after being moved up one day due to impending severe weather forecast for Friday night. The Wildcats’ game at Southeast Bulloch last week was delayed 40 minutes for the same reason.

“I’m so proud of our fans and cheerleaders and band for sticking it out,” Coach Matt LeZotte said afterward. “I hope they were as proud of the product we put on the field as we are of them.”

Richmond Hill opened the scoring with a 40-yard field goal from Joseph Petrino to take a 3-0 lead less than four minutes into the first quarter. Petrino also connected on all seven of his extra point attempts and is now 12-for-12 on PATs this season.

Maybe we should start calling them “Petrino After Touchdown” instead of Point After Touchdown.

The Wildcats scored again three minutes later on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Kasey Green to Krisean Hayes for a 10-0 lead.

Green followed that up with touchdown passes to Justin Jeffery and Sam James of 11 and 15 yards, respectively, to take a 24-0 lead into halftime.

Even with that first-half performance, LeZotte was not happy.

“You can only handle adversity for so long and still get perfect outcomes, and we were not perfect in the first half,” he said. “We were sloppy and had too many mental errors. Our focus had to change.”

LeZotte said he was much happier with the second half, which saw Aaron Bedgood score on an option pitch from Green on fourth-and-goal from the nine. The Wildcats scored two previous times on that drive, but saw them both called back due to penalties, plus another touchdown in the first half that was waved off for the same reason.

“It is what it is,” LeZotte said of the penalties. “But we kept our focus and responded. Focus is something we discuss every day. There is no gray area there.”

Jalen Rouse added another touchdown in the third quarter on a 10-yard run, and after Richmond Hill recovered a Brantley fumble on a Matt Daniel punt, Sheldon Lewis scored from a yard out on a quarterback keeper.

L’marqez Prather closed out the scoring with nine minutes left in the game on a 52-yard touchdown run after a broken play that saw Lewis pitch the ball to Prather to avoid getting sacked.

Maurice Smith led the Wildcats in rushing with 167 yards on 12 carries, while Ruii Hernandez had 10 tackles, including a sack.

The Wildcats improve to 2-0 while Brantley, a 3A school, drops to 0-3.

“They have some tough guys, but a lot of them played both ways,” LeZotte said. “We just had more depth.”

Richmond Hill hosts Pierce County at 7:30 p.m. next Friday.

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