Fans, players and coaches will have to wait until Friday night to know exactly what the region playoff picture looks like for the Bryan County and Richmond Hill football teams.
The Redskins came back from a 20-0 deficit at Bacon County Friday night to win 28-23, while the Wildcats dropped a 24-10 decision at Brunswick.
Richmond Hill is now 6-2 overall and 1-2 in Region 2-AAAAAA. The Wildcats play at Effingham at 7:30 p.m. Friday. The Rebels are 2-1 in the region, while Glynn Academy has to top seed sewn up at 3-0. Brunswick is 1-3 in the region, while Bradwell — which Richmond Hill beat — is 1-2. Bradwell and Glynn also play Friday.
If the Wildcats beat Effingham, both teams would be 2-2 in the region but Richmond Hill would get the second seed based on head-to-head competition. Should Richmond Hill and Bradwell both lose, then the Wildcats, Tigers and the Pirates for Brunswick would be tied at 1-3 each.
For the Redskins, now 3-5, 2-4, a win at home Friday against Vidalia and a Swainsboro loss to Benedictine would give Bryan County the fourth seed in Region 2-AA. Beating 5-1 Vidalia, however, is no small task for the Redskins.
Bryan County fell behind 20-0 at Bacon County before Conner Schaffer returned an interception for a touchdown.
“We came out flat but we hung in there,” Coach Allen Cartwright said. “That really got us going.”
A 40-yard touchdown pass from Gage Hagan to Kimonti Murray and a Murray rushing touchdown closed the gap, but the Redskins still trailed 23-21 with two minutes left in the game.
“We were running the ball well, and that opened up our passing game,” Cartwright said. “We threw a little slip screen and that was it.”
Yadevern Eason took the pass from Hagan 80 yards to give the Redskins the win.
Richmond Hill, meanwhile, started off slowly and never recovered, trailing the Pirates 22-3 at the half after a 44-yard field goal by Joseph Petrino near the end of the second quarter.
“It's just lack of execution,” Coach Matt LeZotte said. “That's the most talented team in our region that lined up across from us. The discrepancy between the teams was obvious. When you don't execute against a team like that, you can see what happens. We just have to do a better job.”
The only other score for the Wildcats came on a touchdown pass from Kasey Green to Sam James. Brunswick’s only points in the second half came near the end of the game when it recovered a Richmond Hill fumble in the end zone for a safety.
“The future is 100 percent in our hands,” LeZotte said of the playoff picture. “We've got to play better. We'll go back and work on the small things and try to make plays. If these guys want to play in November then they'll show up and be ready to play. If they want to go home, then they'll play like they did tonight.”