A short-lived scoreboard malfunction just before halftime Friday at Wildcats Stadium was about the only thing that didn’t go Richmond HillHigh School’s way Friday night.
But the scoreboard came to life again in the second half, in plenty of time to illuminate the Wildcats’ 49-0 win over the Atomsmashers.
It was Richmond Hill’s second straight win over Johnson after the Wildcats dropped the previous three meetings between the two teams
“I think a lot of people have got to understand where we’ve come from,” RHHS coach Lyman Guy said. “I don’t know a lot about this program’s history 10 years ago or so, but I know the previous five or six this (RHHS) was a program that couldn’t beat that bunch (Johnson). They’ve played us tough every game, so I’d like to think this game shows that we’re improving as a program. But it’s probably too early in the season to tell that.”
Still, the Wildcats had their way Friday night, racking up 343 yards rushing on a soggy, sodden field that might need life support before next week’s game.
Senior running back David Katzman and senior quarterback Dominique Allen led the offensive barrage.
Katzman ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries, Allen had 65 yards and two touchdowns on six carries while also completing a 37-yard pass to Nick Fitzgerald to set up the second of Katzman’s touchdowns. And that was just the first half, as RHHS blew the game open with a 21-point second quarter.
The Wildcats added 21 more points in the second half for good measure, first on a 61-yard kick return from defensive back Quanzell Blow to open the third quarter, then courtesy fourth quarter runs from Fitzgerald, also the team’s backup quarterback, and third string quarterback MJ Hall.
Kicker Canon Rooker was good on five of his six extra point tries and Katzman tacked on a 2-point run, and only one of Rooker’s seven kickoffs failed to reach the endzone.
How well did it go for the Wildcats offensively? Richmond Hill didn’t have to punt once.
Johnson, meanwhile, managed to rack up 202 yards and 10 first downs, but the Atomsmashers couldn’t get into the endzone against a Wildcat defense led by senior defensive lineman Johnathon Thomas, who had five solo tackles and an assist.
Junior defensive back Darius Brown had five solo tackles and an assist. Senior linebacker Ethan Bowling had five solo tackles and three assists and senior linebacker Zach Stegner finished with five solo tackles.
Blow, Hall and Tommy Washington had interceptions. Senior defensive back TJ Grisby recovered a fumble.
Wet conditions had an impact on both teams. The teams traded fumbles in the first quarter.
“We were fortunate, considering we put the ball on the ground a few times in the first half. We’ve got to be smarter and learn to put two hands on the ball and protect it, especially in traffic and on a wet night,” Guy said. “But we both played on the same field. It probably slowed Johnson down and that probably played in our favor because they’re such a fast team, but it also slowed down our perimeter game as well.”
The win improves Richmond Hill to 2-3 all time against Johnson, according to the Georgia High School Football Historian’s Association. A former 3-AAAAA team, the Atomsmashers now compete in Region 1-AAA.
Score by quarters
Johnson 0/0/0/0 - 0
Richmond Hill7/21/7/14 - 49
Rushing: Katzman 16-145, 2 tds; Allen 6-65, 2 tds; Fitzgerald 7-50, 1 td; Hall 1-28, 1 td; Micheal Clark 4-17; Ronnie Harris 1-13; Rooker 2-8, Byren Tanner 1-7, Daniel Winters 1-6; Kwame Middleton 1-4.
Passing: Allen 1-1, 37; Fitzgerald 0-1.
Receiving: Fitzgerald 1-37.
Penalities: RHHS 5-48.