By Charlie Moon, Lowcountry Radio.
Yes, a stolen line – “It was a rainy night in Georgia.” Last Friday, Richmond Hill looked to snag its second consecutive Region 2-AAAAAA Title, at Glynn County Stadium against Glynn Academy, home of both Glynn and Brunswick. Rains came in off the Golden Isles coast for about two hours, leading right up to the 7 p.m. pre-game show with Low Country Radio’s Tim Melhorn, myself and Brock Vaigneur.
The continued soft rains finally ended in the 2nd quarter. Did it cause some footing issues? Who knows? One thing is for sure. The rule of thumb in tough weather is, offenses have the advantage because they know where they’re going – but that was not the case in this one.
Richmond Hill lost in a defensive slugfest, 7-5.
No, that’s not a misprint. It’s not a baseball score.
On Tuesday’s debut edition of the “Wildcats’ Coach’s Show,” broadcast live by Lowcountryradio.com from Papa’s Pizza, Roberson talked about the offensive struggles.
“They had us covered up all night. That’s no excuse. We gotta execute better. We’re gonna be okay. We’re gonna fix it.”
Richmond Hill’s vaunted run game led by Roberson’s 1,300 yards and over the top passing game led by QB Tyler Coleman, was stymied to 212 yards. Glynn County’s dangerous flex bone ground game, led by Louisville commit QB TJ Lewis and RB TJ Lewis, didn’t fare much better.
The scoring started early when Isiah Allen blocked a punt at the Glynn 10 yard line and it sailed just inside the pylon for a safety. On the “Wildcats’ Coach’s Show,” Allen took Wildcat fans through the play.
“I just got through the block and went hard. I got it with my arm. I looked up and saw it go through the endzone.”
Asked about whether he thinks his team will bounce back Allen said, “Last year we went on that great run when nobody around the state thought we could, especially against Valdosta. But we were dogs then. We just gotta be dogs again, and we have been in practice this week. We just gotta be dogs again. We’re gonna okay.”
The only touchdown of the night came on a TJ Lewis 50+ yard scamper down the left sideline as he hurdled defensive back Kanai Lowery at the 30, en route to the score. Yes, you heard that right. It was a hurdle. And yes, that is supposed to draw an automatic 15-yard penalty.
But no, there was no flag, even though an extra 7th referee was added to the crew for this crucial game.
Lewis was trying avoid the tackle, but the GHSA rule, entered several years ago when concussions became a point of focus in sports at all levels, is clear. No matter the intent of the player, it is an automatic 15-yarder. Unfortunately, the only flag was thrown on Wildcats’ HC Matt Lezotte for coming onto the field to argue the call. On the “Wildcats’ Coach’s Show,” Lezotte was asked about what explanation the 7-man crew had. “They didn’t. The only thing they said was they were getting me for 15 yards. I’ve yet to get an explanation.” Late in the first half, Britton Williams nailed a 31-yard FG from the left hash for a halftime score of 7-5, Glynn.
There was nothing going for either offense in the 2nd half. Richmond Hill had a last-minute drive thwarted by another flag. On 4th down and 31 deep in their own territory, Coleman evaded a sack, scrambled right and hit Christian Boggs outside the right hash as he was falling to the ground and covered tightly.
As I yelled “Boggs – Boggs – Boggs!” into the mic, Melhorn tapped his shoulder as the yellow hankie came out late. Offensive pass interference was the call.
Lezotte said about the said about the flag: “I don’t know how offensive PI can be called against the receiver when he’s the one falling and the DB has his back to the ball.”
All is not lost for Richmond Hill in its conference title quest. Right now, it is a 3-way tie between Glynn Academy, Brunswick and Richmond Hill. Glynn holds the tie-breaker advantage of points allowed in conference play. Richmond Hill travels to South Effingham Friday night. The Cats need to hope for a Glynn loss at Statesboro on Nov. 20.
Regardless of those results, Richmond Hill should hold onto at least a 2-seed and at least one guaranteed home playoff game.
Tune in Friday night at 7 to Lowcountryradio.com, as Freddy Howell, Tim Melhorn, myself and Brock Vaigneur bring you all the action from South Effingham.
And don’t forget to tune in Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. to the second edition of the “Wildcats’ Coach’s Show,” broadcast live from Papa’s Pizza. Or, come out to the tailgate atmosphere and join the RHHS Cheerleaders, led by Kaitlyn Hutchinson, players, coaches and fans.
Coming up: A wrap-up of Bryan County High School’’s softball team’s great run to the GHSA Final 4.