To its credit Richmond Hill did not play down to the level of its competition which so often happens.
The Wildcats seized the game and momentum by the throat Friday night and never let up as they got three touchdown passes from Ty Goldrick to beat Jenkins, 38-10, at Wildcats Stadium.
Jenkins got a 69-yard run from quarterback Troy Jones on the first play of the game but the Wildcats defense limited the damage to a field goal and from that point on it was a struggle for the Warriors.
Richmond Hill answered the Jenkins score with one of its own as Zion Gillard, who had a game high 89 rushing yards, capped a 45-yard drive when he scored on a 1-yard run. It was all Richmond Hill the remainder of the game.
“They caught us in a misalignment,” Coach Matt LeZotte said. “I feel we’ve got a long way to go but we played well tonight.”
Jones’ run proved to be an aberration as the Wildcats defense forced four turnovers on the night, three in the second quarter during a 31-point outburst.
Senior quarterback Goldrick had a solid night as he completed seven of his 14 passes attempts for 118 yards and three touchdowns, all of them coming in the second quarter.
“We’ve come a long way offensively (since the opener against Effingham County),” Goldrick said. “We’ve not been explosive. This week we worked on being explosive and we did that tonight to an extent.”
Finding themselves trailing 3-0 minutes into the game the Wildcats wasted no time in getting a lead which they never relinquished.
Following a 35-yard kickoff return by Nick Bliss—he had two for 70 yards—Richmond Hill went 45 yards in eight plays with Gillard scoring on his third straight carry. Gillard had 89 yards on 12 carries on the night with 26 of them coming on the opening drive.
The Wildcats then seized control of the game in a split second when the Warriors, starting a drive on their own 21 following an Aiden Styan punt, had their center uncork a high snap. The ball rolled all the way to the end zone where Myleek Gould fell on it for a touchdown.
“That play was a shift in momentum,” LeZotte said, “and we kept it.”
Three plays later Jenkins fumbled with sophomore cornerback Brandon Mcdonald recovering it at the Warriors 42. It took the Wildcats four plays to score with Goldrick teaming up with Ravon Grant from 14 yards out.
That was followed by scoring passes of 27 and 36 yards to Mason Wilcox with the coup de grace coming on the final play of the half on a 32-yard field goal by Blake Williams.
Williams’ kick on the final play of the half made it 38-3 which meant a running clock in the second half. It was the first field goal of the sophomore’s career.
“We’re starting to come together as a team and picking one another up,” Goldrick said. “We had two touchdowns called back in the second quarter but we were able to come right back and score.”
It was an encouraging response to last week’s 20-7 loss at Ware County and hopefully generates some momentum for the Wildcats going into next Saturday’s game with Baker County, Fl. The game will be played at 7:30 p.m. in Brunswick.