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Richmond Hill High School faces its toughest foe yet Friday night when the unbeaten Wildcats (3-0) play host to Glynn Academy (2-1) in the Region 3-AAAAA opener for both teams.
It might also be one of the toughest tests Richmond Hill will face all season. The Wildcats are looking to improve to 4-0 for the second time in as many seasons.
"They’re probably the most athletic team in the region and have the most talent," Wildcats coach Lyman Guy said. "I haven’t seen everybody, but from what I have seen, they’re the most talented. They’ve just got plenty of talent and they’re a good football team."
The Red Terrors are 2-1 after knocking off Wayne County 16-10 last week.
Glynn opened the season with a 28-10 win over McIntosh County Academy and then lost 28-26 to rival Brunswick on Aug. 31.
Glynn Academy returns 26 seniors from last season, when the Red Terrors knocked off Richmond Hill 44-27 in Brunswick and went on to finish 8-3.
The Red Terrors offense is a veteran bunch with senior quarterback Preston Delaney (6-1, 175), a two-year starter, pulling the trigger in a multiple offense.
"They do a lot of different things and they have a talented quarterback who throws the ball around real well," Guy said. "They’ve also got some talented skill guys for him to distribute the ball to."
Defensively, the Red Terrors are "really sound," Guy said. "But what we see on film is never what we’ll see on Friday night because we run the option. We expect it to be a real tough test because they usually do a good job defensively. They have a lot of talent on that side of the ball as well."
Richmond Hill will counter with an option offense that is averaging 39 points and 337 yards rushing a game, and a defense that is giving up only 2 points a contest.
Quarterback Dominique Allen leads the Wildcat offense. Already committed to the Air Force Academy, Allen has 236 yards and six TDs on 26 carries. He’s completed 3 of 6 passes for 46 yards as well.
Senior running back David Katzman is the team’s leading ground gainer with 323 yards and four touchdowns on 30 carries. Junior quarterback/receiver Nick Fitzgerald has 202 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.
Linebacker Ethan Bowling and defensive end Zach Stegner, both seniors, lead an opportunistic Wildcat defense that already has six interceptions while shutting out two opponents.
But despite having last week off, the Wildcats aren’t exactly 100 percent, Guy said. He said a handul of key players are nursing minor injuries but declined to name names.
"The bye week let us heal up a little bit, but we were still banging on each other a little bit in practice so it was probably no different than having a game," he said. "We’ve got a few guys with some sprained ankles and banged up hands and a little strained MCL. That slows us down a bit, but that’s part of the game."
As for the bye week, Guy said he’s no fan of having time off in the middle of the season.
‘If it was up to me, we’d play 11 games in a row and we wouldn’t have a bye week," he said. "I just think it’s a fine line between whether it helps you or hurts you. But playing Friday nights gives kids something to look forward to, it gives them a sense of urgency. It’s the fun part of playing football, getting to have those Friday night games."
Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. It's Blackout Night. Fans are asked to wear black.
See Wildcat stats through first three games at www.bryancountynews.net.