For the second week in a row, the Richmond Hill Wildcats faced off against another Wildcat team, this time playing host to the Valdosta Wildcats, known as the "Winningest High School Football Team" in the country, and for the second week in a row, Richmond Hill dropped a region game.
The Wildcats of Valdosta dominated much of the game with their bruising running attack on offense, and a stout defense to go along with it, cruising to a 24-14 victory at The Hill. However, the game would not end without late fireworks, as Richmond Hill scored two touchdowns on back to back drives in less than one minute.
With Valdosta coming off of a huge win in the Winnersville Classic against rival Lowndes High, where they rushed for 430 yards, the Wildcats brought the same rushing attack to the contest with Richmond Hill.
Several different players for Valdosta ran the ball on the night, chewing the clock and making for a faster than normal type of game, and keeping the Richmond Hill offense on the sidelines, while also wearing down the defense.
However, junior outside linebacker Gabe Bauman led Richmond Hill in tackling on the evening, securing 9 tackles and 1 tackle for loss, as well as junior linebacker/safety Aiden Grant adding 7 tackles himself.
After a scoreless first quarter for both teams, the Valdosta Wildcats managed to put 10 on the board in the second quarter, to take a 10-0 lead into the half behind that potent rushing attack. Valdosta added two more rushing touchdowns in the third quarter as both rushing touchdowns would come from a quarterback and the reserve quarterback.
Late in the fourth as the clock dwindled down, Richmond Hill scored on a rushing touchdown of their own by junior quarterback Kirk Scott, who led the team in rushing on the evening with 39 yards, with 3:31 left in the game. Senior Wideout Nick Bliss punched in the 2-pt conversion from the Wildcat formation.
Richmond Hill attempted and recovered an onside kick, which put them in position to march down the field and make a run at Valdosta. With a critical pass interference call by Valdosta, Richmond Hill had great field position to score their second touchdown of the night. This time it was on a pass from Scott, who threw for 152 yards, to junior slotback Brandon McDonald, who led the team in receiving yards with 60 on the night. The two point conversion attempt was no good, and the ensuing onside kick attempt was recovered by Valdosta, and the clock would run out from there with a 24-14 Valdosta victory.
Junior tailback Joshua Troupe rushed for 36 yards on 8 carries, while Bliss added 14 yards on 5 carries, as well as 33 yards on 3 catches. Junior wideout Derrick Lum also caught 2 passes for 39 yards on the evening.
Bauman earned Plantation Lumber & Hardware Player of the Game honors for his efforts defensively.
Richmond Hill (4-4, 0-2) will host another team from Valdosta in two weeks, as the Lowndes Vikings come to The Hill on Oct. 27 after the Wildcats have their bye week. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.