By Charlie Moon, lowcountryradio.com.
“Bombs away….shots fired…ready-aim…mayday, may-day!”
Normally, Bryan County EMS Director Freddy Howell, also owner/founder of Lowcountryradio.com would be highly agitated over those phrases.
“Contraire mon frere” – or for the Southern English speaking folks like myself, “To the contrary, my brother!”
No matter how you shake it, those were the distress calls that could be heard from The Hill Friday night as Richmond Hill took shots all night at the South Effingham Mustangs in a 55-7 romp. The Cats locked in a #1 or #2 playoff seed in the regular season finale – more on the playoff scenario later.
I have the luxury of handling play-by-play on defense, but the smooth tones of Tim Melhorn takes the reigns on offense.
Melhorn’s staple call, “Put 6 on it! Throw ya hands in the air and wave em like ya just don’t care” is heard on every offensive score.
By the 3rd quarter, Melhorn might as well just hit the Auto-play button. When LCR sideline reporter Brock Vaigneur made the mistake of commenting on my favorite HC, Valdosta’s Rush Propst (obviously he’s not), I went on a 2nd quarter Vin Scully- like tirade about the transfer situation that gave Grayson’s football team a brand new mid-season QB, California kid wonder Jake Garcia – while leaving his own now-struggling Valdosta kids high and dry, because the original starter Mike Holmes left the team when told just days before their season opener that some kid from California is now a Valdosta QB. And Freddy, well, he was just laughing all the way through it. And by the way, I’m not comparing myself to Vin Scully, Hall of Fame Dodgers’ play-by-play man. One of his hallmarks during slow-paced baseball games, was telling incredible stories not directly related to the game, but seamlessly weaving the play-by-play while connecting the listeners to the game and the story.
That’s how dominating the Cats were.
How’s this stat for ya? The Cats ran just 21 plays from the line of scrimmage, and scored on eight! They scored on plays of 80, 75, 64, 54 and 47 yards just to name a few. Ashaud Roberson scored on the very first play from scrimmage with an 80-yard scamper blown open with a big Pancake block from Jeremiah Scott-Kollman.
There was enough syrup in that hole to cover even my biggest plate of IHOP strawberry pancakes. On the next drive, Jordan Clark scored on a 75-yard post route from QB Tyler Coleman. Coleman laid it up nicely 41 yards in the air. Clark took it the rest of the way, even losing his loose, white towel. In the Low Country Radio postgame show, Vaigneur asked Clark, “You always lookin sharp out here with the long white socks, white sleeves, long white towel. What’s up with that?”
Clark was quick: “Gotta be like my brother Sam! We started this his senior year. We play hard, be ball hawks, but we gotta look fly, too!”
Sam is Sam James, the 2018 RHHS grad, now a stand-out WR at West Virginia. By half time, the Cats had a 28-0 lead. Coleman finished the night 5-of- 6, 189 yards and 2 TD passes and a 163 QB Rating. Roberson finished with 204 yards and 4 TDs on just 11 carries. Rounding out the scoring on the ground was Nuna Hunter and Evan Clark – each with 1 score. Ryan Steele and Clark added TD catches from Coleman.
As much discussion is on the offense, all year long, it’s been the Cats’ vaunted defense that has set the tone. They have been the bedrock of this team. Defensively, the Cats were led by Marcus Jones, Nathan Vickers and Shaquan Brooks. They combined for 26 tackles, 6 tackles for loss and 2 sacks. Defensive Coordinator Tony Lezotte’s crew gave up just 158 yards total offense, most of which came in mop-up time in the 4th quarter.
On the Wildcats’ Coach’s Show, linebacker Marcus Jones said, “We know our No. 1 job is to be disciplined and set the edge, but we get after that ball.”
Linebacker Kaleb Jackson added, “We go hard from the outside, but we know we gotta set the edge. Ware County taught reminded us that and we haven’t let up since.”
In the LCR Postgame Show, Lezotte commented on Vaigneur’s question of whether the team was on let-down status after the tough Glynn loss.
“These guys could’ve beat the Green Bay Packers tonight! Man, we were fired up on Monday morning. I could see it in those guys eyes. There was no let-down. We know everything is still on the table.”
And that’s where it leads us….
The Cats finish the season 8-2, and the No. 6-ranked Class AAAAAA team in all of Georgia, but may finish No. 2 2 in Region 2-AAAAAA. That is due to the lone conference loss at Glynn Academy.
The Cats have a bye Friday, in the regular season’s last week, while Glynn travels to Statesboro. Glynn will be a heavy favorite when the Maxwell Projections come out Thursday morning, but don’t let that fool you, folks.
The Blue Devils are just 4-5 (3-2 in conference), but when GA Southern students came to campus in August, Bulloch County COVID rates surged.
As many as 20 players were inactive at any given time in Statesboro’s first 6 games. Even HC Jeff Kaiser was hospitalized.
Happily his health improved just in time for their game at Richmond Hill. Since then, The Blue Devils have won 3 straight, have their entire roster and are firing at all cylinders. On Atlanta’s 680 The Fan’s GA HS Scoreboard Show, they even mentioned the big match-up.
680’s Brandon Joseph said, “Low Country Radio’s Charlie Moon’s even got Glynn on Upset Alert at Statesboro, so lookout!”
The bottom line is this: If Glynn beats Statesboro, they will own the No. 1 seed and host Grovetown from the Augusta area. Richmond Hill would garner the No. 2 seed and host Lakeside next Friday, also from the Augusta area.
On the flipside, a Statesboro upset, would set up Richmond Hill in the same scenario as last year’s historical run. They would own the No. 1 seed, host Grovetown and be set up with home field advantage rights throughout the first four playoff rounds. The first two would be guaranteed.
The 3rd and 4th rounds would depend on opponents’ conference seeding and possible bracket placement, similar to last year’s run.
Next week, Low Country Radio will have wall-to-wall playoff coverage, beginning with Tuesday’s installment of “The Wildcats’ Show.”
We’ll fill you in on all the finalized brackets, where the Cats will be.
We’ll talk to Richmond Hill Assistant Coaches and HC Lezotte.
We’ll hear live, from our 1st round opponents’ coaches and players.
We’ll also hear from WSAVs Greg Talbot and 912Sports’ Shawn Smoak on their bracket thoughts. And, a first on the show, we’ll take live callers from Cat Country as fans can ask HC Matt Lezotte or our LCR crew, what’s on their mind.
Thursday, Low Country Radio will publish a Playoff Podcast hosted by the crew – Freddy Howell, Tim Melhorn, Brock Vaigneur and myself. We’ll break down the Cats’ playoff outlook from all angles.