It’s a game to get into the state playoffs, but the stakes make it a playoff-type situation.
Both the Richmond Academy and Glenn Hills football teams can earn a spot in the Class AAAA state playoffs with home wins at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Region 3-AAAA play-in games. The Musketeers (5-4 overall, 4-1 subregion), who finished second behind Burke County in the subregion, have a crossover game with Liberty County. Glenn Hills is home against Statesboro.
Richmond Academy was in this spot a year ago with the same record before losing to South Effingham.
Win this time, and the Musketeers are in, but a loss ends their season again.
“We’re treating it like a playoff game,” Richmond Academy coach Chris Hughes said. “You win or you’re done. That’s how we treated it last year.”
Glenn Hills (5-4, 3-2) has the tougher task, considering the Spartans have to beat Statesboro, a team that was undefeated just a week ago. Glenn Hills is also 0-8 against the Blue Devils all-time, though the last meeting was in 2003.
Though the Spartans have a potent offense with running back Kahlige Fleglar and receiver Earl Cobb, the Blue Devils haven’t allowed more than 15 points in a game all season. Statesboro’s ground-based attack plays into that.
“Whenever you play a big game, you’ve got to minimize mistakes,” Glenn Hills coach Tim McClain said. “You realize you’ve got to be efficient in the red zone and you’ve got to keep the chains moving. They run a ball-control-type offense so we got to keep them off the field.”
As for Richmond Academy, which is led by Willie Yarbary’s nine sacks, it must try to contain Panthers star Raekwon McMillan, who has received offers from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and others.
During Wednesday’s practice, the Musketeers were all business.
“Now that everybody knows what’s expected, we got into this routine,” Hughes said. “We’ve stayed with the same thing, so hopefully it’ll pay off.”