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To the MAC: Wildcats return for 6A bout with Northside
Richmond Hill football

The Wildcats are back in action.

But they will be playing in Warner Robins to take on the Northside Eagles in a 6A matchup on Friday.

The Wildcats have been playing on a biweekly schedule thus far, playing only two games in the season’s four weeks.

They last competed on Sept. 3 when they faced Burke County in Waynesboro where they fell 27-26, dropping to 0-2.

The following week, the Wildcats had an open week, where they elected to not schedule a game to work internally on team needs.

“We worked on getting back to fundamentally sound,” Wildcats head coach Matt LeZotte said. “We slacked a little bit when the game progressed against Burke County. A lot of that had to deal with fatigue and lack of playing experience. That’s not going to be an excuse for us anymore. You’re either going to line up and execute the way that we want you to, or the next guy will get a rep. We put our guy’s feet to the fire last week and got better at doing that.”

The Eagles last played on Sept. 10, losing 49-7 to crosstown rivals Warner Robins, now holding a 3-1 record.

Previously when the Wildcats and the Eagles competed, Richmond Hill walked over the Eagles in 52-12 victory a season ago.

They will look to have the same fate in this year’s contest.

“This is definitely not last year,” LeZotte said. “We had more go our way. I’ve never coached a game more lopsided in my career. I’ve been on the receiving end of that kind of victory in making mistakes. They made a ton of mistakes early in the game and before you knew it, it was 21-0 and we didn’t look back. Our guys still played strong. We kept our foot on the gas the whole game because we knew that it would be a tough opponent. They were able to do some things but throughout the entire game, they continued to make mistakes and shoot themselves in the foot. They’re a lot better at executing and stronger. And we’re going to be ready for that. It’s going to be one heck of a game Friday night.”

The Wildcats have yet to play a home game this season, traveling to Beaufort (SC), Waynesboro, and will head Warner Robins Friday.

“We’re approaching it like a business trip,” LeZotte said. “Everybody likes playing in front of the home crowd but who’s going to get excited to play in an environment that’s hostile which we have in all these games. And it’s going to be another Friday night at ‘The MAC.’

The Wildcats averages 18 points per game while giving up 27.5 points per in two competitions this season.

For the Eagles, they own the points allowed and against with averages of a 21 and 17.5 in four games.

This game will serve as the final non-region game before their games start holding playoff implications.

“The non-region schedule is built and geared around growth and development of our players to put them in situations to allow them to learn,” LeZotte said. “That way, the learning curve is skewed a little bit in our favor by the time region play rolls around. There’s not going to be that we haven’t seen after playing these first few games. It’s going to prepare us very well for the future.”

The Wildcats and the Eagles will square off at 7:30 in McConnell-Talbert Stadium also known as ‘The MAC’ on Sept. 17.

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