For those fans disappointed in the final score of this past Friday’s Richmond Hill scrimmage loss to Pierce County 34-20, fret not - there were some positive notes. The Wildcat varsity unofficially ran for nearly 200 yards of offense in three quarters - all of this with their number one running back, Darius Postell, on the sidelines.
The Richmond Hill defense, after giving up an opening drive touchdown to the Bears, settled down for the most part and was able to stymie Pierce County’s running attack. They did, however, allow a few big pass plays that made an impact in the final analysis.
Both Junior Varsity teams played the third period and the Bears picked up another touchdown against a young and inexperienced squad of J.V. Wildcats.
Head coach Brian Brocato would have this to say about his teams performance: "I know people will be disappointed in the score, but, all in all, I thought we looked pretty good. In the beginning our defense wasn’t playing quite right, but once we called timeout and talked to them, they stopped the run. We have to work with our corner back’s pass coverage, and we have to work with the J.V." Brocato went on to praise his kick return team - especially an electrifying 85 yard return for a touchdown that got the crowd, and his team, back in the game.
Twice the Bears had kicked deep to school newcomer Tyler Mitchell, and twice they were able keep the Wildcat offense deep in Bear territory. Third time was a charm for the junior running back they call "Bama" and he took another deep kick straight up the Bear sideline, breaking several tackles en route to a critical touchdown that, after a two point conversion, allowed the Wildcats to go to the locker room only down 21-20.
After the opening drive and touchdown that featured Pierce County’s version of the wishbone offense, the Wildcats had their turn to do the same. Senior fullback Sean Milligan took the first play from scrimmage to the other end of the field, gave the crowd something to cheer about and put his team in scoring position. Eight plays later, senior quarterback Xavier Owens scampered around the left side for eight yards and the Wildcats first touchdown of 2007. Owens’ two point run was short however, and the Wildcats trailed 7-6.
The defense was fired up too. The next two running plays were stopped by linebackers Nathan Kilburn for no gain and Danny Harmon for a loss of three yards. A 23 yard pass play followed that allowed the Bears to pick up the first down. Again on the next series, the Bears completed a first down pass to the ten yard line when they were backed up on a holding penalty and had an obvious passing down coming up.
Take away that series and a fourth quarter touch down pass and Richmond Hill probably wins the game. To their credit they would play the passing game much tougher in the second half with defensive back Kevin Bodaford exacting a couple of hard hits to break up pass attempts and give the Bear receivers something extra to think about on their routes.
The Wildcats scored their second touchdown with a second quarter drive that was powered by Zach Christie’s five carries during the drive and culminated with another Owens 10 yard sprint to the flag. This time a fake kick and pass failed to tie the game up.
For a scrimmage game, both teams played pretty well with few penalties and no turnovers for either team. Surprisingly, both teams were more dominant on offense which made for an entertaining scrimmage.
Richmond Hill will be at their cross county rival’s place this Friday for the annual Bryan County grudge match, game time 7:30 p.m. This game also marks the debut of the Wildcat football radio show which starts at 7 p.m. on 104.7FM.