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Panthers spoil RH homecoming, 13-0
The RHHS Wildcats line up against the Liberty County Panthers during Friday night's homecoming game in Richmond Hill. - photo by Photo by Terry Logan
Liberty County used a stout defensive front to stymie Richmond Hill’s improved running attack and spoil their homecoming 13-0 at Wildcat Field. A pair of touchdowns by Panthers running back Shadrach Thornton was all the offense needed.
The Liberty County junior scored on a 2-yard run to open the second quarter then again on a 7-yard run in the third quarter after being set up by a Panther blocked punt. It was the seventh punt forced by the Panther defense.
But Wildcat defenders played pretty well themselves.
A Richmond Hill goal line stand that led to a failed short field goal attempt finally energized the offense with an 80-yard drive, most of which came on a 56-yard completion from Eli Thompson to Vernon Jackson.
But a holding call negated Alexander Cruz’ apparent 5-yard touchdown run and the Panthers took over on downs at the four yard line.
Senior defensive lineman Richard Cohen made 4 solo tackles and had 3 assists. Senior defensive back Josh Miller had 6 solo tackles and a 46-yard interception return in the fourth quarter that helped lead to the final Wildcat scoring opportunity.
Richmond Hill started on the Panther 25 and Thompson found Evan Stone for a 15-yard first down completion, but a tipped ball led to a Liberty County interception and the Panthers were able to run out the clock.
The Panthers improved to 2-3, 1-0 in region 2A-AAAA while the Wildcats fell to 3-2, 0-1. Afterward head coach Lyman Guy admitted his teams recent offensive success may have had them over confident at facing the Panther defense.
“We were outmatched up front. Their front seven were physical and athletic and we didn’t have an answer; couldn’t sustain blocks, and then put the ball on the ground a couple of times.”
At the same time the first year coach praised a defense that seemed to improved greatly after giving up 21 points to South Effingham two weeks ago.
The Wildcats are hoping to put it all together next week as they travel to Wayne County. The Yellow Jackets were shut out by Glynn Academy 24-0 in their region opener.

The Richmond Hill Lady Wildcats ended their season at South Effingham Friday by losing both of their region 2-AAAA region tournament games to the always talented Lady Mustangs, 2-1, and 11-4. Coach Sean Strickland knew his team would need a near perfect performance to pull off the upset.
“The girls played great, we just came up a little short against a very good opponent. They capitalized on the opportunities we gave them and we, unfortunately, didn’t take advantage of some of their miscues.” said Strickland on his teams play.
The Lady Cats finished the season with a 14-15 overall record and 5-5 region mark, but Strickland is certain his team has made improvements in what he characterizes as a “roller coaster” season that had more ups than downs. Strickland thinks the experience will pay benefits in the future.
“We saw some improvement from last year and we are starting to get some great things moving in the program. The future looks very bright.”
Junior Lauren Simerly gave Richmond Hill a chance to win every time she pitched and finished the year with a 1.40 ERA and a .193 batting average against. Leading hitters were Katie Nance with a .394 batting average, Simerly at .375, Trisha Jennings at .321, and Cheyenne Marsh at 314. All except Nance will return next year.

Correction: Last weeks column incorrectly mentioned a player from last years team when it should have named Katlyn Taylor as the featured player.
Coming down to the wire at the end of the regular season Richmond Hill picked up a pair of wins over Brunswick, (25-13, 25-18) and Liberty County, (25-18, 25-16). They improved their record to 14-22 overall, and 6-2 in the area.
A meet at Savannah Arts Academy on Thursday against SAA and Windsor Forest will act as a warm up to the region tournament at South Effingham that starts this weekend.

Cross Country

Richmond Hill traveled to Camden County last week, results were not available yet at press time but the team will travel to Statesboro Oct. 9 at James Middle School for their next meet.
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