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Cats roll, Skins fall
Matt Daniel catch
This behind-the-back circus catch by Matt Daniel helped set up Richmond Hill's third touchdown in a 28-0 win at home Friday night against Lakeside Evans. - photo by Photo by Aura Welch

Lakeside Evans had only scored three points this season, and after leaving Richmond Hill Friday night the Panthers have still only scored three points.

The Wildcats won 28-0 to improve to 4-0 on the year, with one more non-region game to go. Bryan County opened its region schedule with a 66-21 loss at home to Swainsboro, dropping to 0-3.

Maurice Smith had 95 yards on 18 carries for Richmond Hill, scoring the first two touchdowns of the game.

“Our offensive line worked hard,” he said afterward. “They prepared all week and they’re veterans. They worked hard for it.”

Jalen Rouse added 102 yards on the ground on 14 carries, and Aaron Bedgood rushed three times for 68 yards and a score.

“We haven’t had as much practice time as we’d like because of weather, but our guys have done everything we’ve asked of them,” Wildcats Coach Matt LeZotte said. “We are able to use our depth to our advantage.”

Justin Jeffery had 92 yards receiving on three catches, including a 59-yard strike from Kasey Green with 5:46 left in the third quarter for Richmond Hill’s fourth and final touchdown.

Green finished 12-of-17 passing for 224 yards. An apparent 84-yard touchdown pass from Green to Bedgood at the end of the third quarter was called back for holding.

Smith’s first touchdown came from one yard out on a direct snap with 8:19 left in the first quarter, and he scored again with 1:32 left in the first quarter from 18 yards out. That touchdown was set up after Nico DeCosta recovered a Lakeside fumble on first-and-goal from the 10 two minutes earlier, and Richmond Hill marched down the field using several screen passes to Jeffery, Bedgood and Sam James.

James was double- and sometimes triple-teamed the entire game, which helped open up Richmond Hill’s running game.

Bedgood’s touchdown came less than 30 seconds into the second half when he took a direct snap from the Lakeside 46 and scored.

The play was set up when Green hit Matt Daniel on the previous play for a 15-yard gain that saw Daniel catch the ball against his back with his arms behind him to make the play after a Lakeside defender tackled him as the ball got there, forcing Daniel to reach behind him for the ball. Officials ruled it a catch as they saw Daniel roll over with both hands still on the ball. He finished with three catches for 52 yards.

Kicker Joseph Petrino connected on all four extra points for the Wildcats. DeCosta finished with eight tackles.

Richmond Hill plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday at South Effingham before starting its Region 2-AAAAAA schedule.

The Redskins fell to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in Region 2-AA.

Bryan County got a 47-yard touchdown run from Yadevern Eason in the first quarter that tied the game 7-7, plus touchdown runs of five yards and 10 yards from Antonio Johnson and Willie Miller in the third and fourth quarters, respectively.

“We had some injuries going into the game and then a couple guys got hurt during the game,” Redskins Coach Mario Mincey said. “We ended up having a junior varsity kid playing outside linebacker, but the guys kept fighting.”

Mincey said he told his team at halftime that it was important not to give up.

“That’s where you see a team’s true character,” he said. “It’s easy to give up, but we didn’t.”

 The Redskins play Benedictine at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Savannah State University. 

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