NEXT UP: Friday
• RHHS visits Effingham County, 7:30 p.m.
For the second straight game, the Richmond Hill Wildcats’ downfall was one big quarter by their opponent.
Glynn Academy scored five touchdowns in the first quarter and rolled to 49-7 region win over Richmond Hill on Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
The week before, the Wildcats led 14-8 before Ware County erupted for 34 straight points in the second quarter en route to a 51-24 victory.
“The past eight quarters, we’ve played two pretty bad quarters,” RHHS head coach Matt LeZotte said. “The rest of the game has been fine.”
Glynn junior quarterback Deejay Dallas, who has committed to Georgia, ran for three touchdowns and running back Garrison Hurd rushed for two scores as the Red Terrors built a 35-0 lead in the first 12 minutes.
“When you get down to a team as talented as Glynn Academy is, it’s just tough to rebound,” LeZotte said. “They did a great job of working and preparing their guys. I have to do a better job of preparing our guys.”
The Wildcats fell to 2-2 overall and 1-2 in Region 3-AAAAA with their second straight loss. Glynn Academy improved to 3-2 and 2-1.
Richmond Hill will look to get back on track tomorrow in its second road game of the season, at Effingham County at 7:30 p.m. The Rebels (3-2, 1-2) are tied with RHHS for sixth place in the rugged region following their 20-14 loss at Coffee on Friday.
“It’s a very tough region. Some of the best teams in the state of Georgia play in our region,” LeZotte said. “It has to be important to our coaches and our players to show up and prepare.”
Glynn Academy took advantage of good field position to build its big first-quarter lead. The Red Terrors’ first four touchdown drives started in Richmond Hill territory, and the fifth began at the Glynn 48-yard line.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats began at their own 20-yard line on each possession following the Glynn touchdowns, as Glynn’s August Bowers boomed touchbacks on all the ensuing kickoffs. The Red Terrors rolled up 183 yards in the first quarter to Richmond Hill’s 22.
Jeremiah Anderson’s 7-yard touchdown run in the second quarter capped an 84-yard drive, extending Glynn’s lead to 42-0. Each team scored a touchdown in the second half, which was played with a running clock.
“We just got pushed around,” LeZotte said. “You could tell a big difference that our weight program is behind about two years. With the support of Richmond Hill, we’re going to change all that.”
RHHS and the Richmond Hill Touchdown Club are in the process of upgrading the Wildcats’ weight room, LeZotte said. That has been a point of emphasis in his first year as head coach.
“We’re real excited about what the future holds,” LeZotte said. “These guys are going work out hard and get stronger so that we can physically compete with the teams in our region.”
Richmond Hill averted the shutout on Brian Hughes’ 94-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats took possession after stopping Grant Langford for no gain on fourth-and-3 at the Richmond Hill 6-yard line.
On the next play, Hughes ran a keeper to the left and raced untouched to the end zone. Joseph Petrino tacked on the extra point.
Hughes completed 16 of 30 passes for 139 yards. He also ran for 82 yards on 10 carries and Maurice Smith added 10 yards on five carries to account for all but one of the Wildcats’ 93 rushing yards.
Aaron Bedgood led Richmond Hill receivers with nine catches for 80 yards. Xavier Bryant-Long started the game at quarterback and completed 2 of 4 of passes for 23 yards before moving to receiver and catching five passes for 40 yards.
Tyler Milbradt racked up nine solo stops among his team-high 12 tackles. Aaron Chick made 10 tackles, including seven solos, and Brandon Armstrong finished with eight tackles.
After Friday night’s game at Effingham County, the Wildcats will be at the midway point of their schedule. The game’s outcome will determine whether Richmond Hill heads into the second half of the season with a winning record.
“These seniors don’t realize how fast it’s going to go by,” LeZotte said. “I tell them all the time, there are two pains in this world — the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. One is temporary, one lasts a lifetime. So the challenge to our guys and our coaches is going to be, how are we going to finish the season?”