Musketeers' win won't soon be forgotten
By Matt Middleton | Staff Writer
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The best action clips and most interesting fans at Friday's prep football games.

Richmond Academy's players were delirious with excitement after their 27-21 Class AAAA win over Glynn Academy on Friday.

Here's what they were celebrating: the school's first state playoff win since 1970. The Musketeers have won region playoff games since then, but it was clear this was a different kind of win, a win to remember.

"They will remember this for the next 20, 30 years," said Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes , whose team scored the final 13 points. "From 1-9, to 0-10, to (a playoff win.)"

Richmond Academy will travel to Thomas County Central for a second-round game. Richmond Academy and Thomas County Central have combined to win a dozen state titles, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association.

Richmond Academy won all seven of its titles before 1957. Thomas County, conversely, won all five of its titles in the 1990s, including three in a row from 1992-94.

Thomas County this season has won 10 in a row since falling to Thomasville 13-9 in its first game.

"You have to be ready," Hughes told his team after the game. "You are going to (play) one of the best teams in the state of Georgia."

ANOTHER BLANKING: Lakeside's 16-0 victory over Statesboro was the only shutout win in the 16 opening-round games of the Class AAAA playoffs.

The shutout was nothing new for the Panthers; it was their seventh this season. Lakeside, which gave up only 148 yards to Statesboro, has not allowed a point in 12 quarters, but will face by far its biggest test of the season this week against Westside-Macon.

Westside is 22-2 the past two seasons and blasted Mt. Zion-Jonesboro 33-7 in the first round. Its only loss this year came at Thomas County Central.

TOUGH FOE: Jefferson County coach J.B. Arnold took his team's first-round opponent seriously.

Tattnall County entered Friday night's contest as a No. 4 seed with a 7-3 record. It was not the traditional first-round cupcake the Warriors sometimes get.

"We knew it was going to be a battle," he said. "They matched our speed."

Despite leading by six late in the game, Jefferson County scored two touchdowns in the final four minutes for a 33-14 win to advance to play host to Thomasville (8-3) in the second round.

"This is Double-A football," Arnold said. "Double-A football in the state of Georgia is rough."

While Thomasville has won five state championships, Jefferson County has won just three playoff games. A Warriors win would make school history, because Jefferson County has yet to advance to the third round of postseason play.

"It's that time of year," Arnold said. "The more you play, the tougher the teams you run into."

QUALITY MATCHUP: North Augusta will travel to Goose Creek for its second-round playoff game.

The two teams combined for two of the state's biggest blowouts in the first round. North Augusta dropped Conway 42-21; Goose Creek pummeled Lancaster 48-0.

Staff writer Chris Gay contributed to this story.

Reach Matt Middleton at (706) 823-3425 or matt.middleton@augustachronicle.com.

WEEKLY LEADERS

RUSHING: Whistle Gladdin, Washington County, 201 yards in a 28-21 win over Troup

PASSING: Stephen Balentine, Wardlaw Academy, 453 yards in a 78-54 win over Patrick Henry

RECEIVING: Baylor Hanley, Wardlaw Academy, 195 yards in a 78-54 win over Patrick Henry

From the Sunday, November 15, 2009 edition of the Augusta Chronicle
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