Richmond Academy’s run toward a playoff bid crossed a major hurdle Friday night.
D.T. Stephens starred on both sides of the ball and the defense held firm as the Musketeers beat Hephzibah 17-0 on the road.
Richmond Academy (4-4, 1-2 Region 3-AAAA) took a big step toward a potential seed from the region with two games left. After losing four in a row, including a key four-point loss to Baldwin on Oct. 6, the Musketeers snapped the skid and now eye their first playoff bid since 2010.
They also won their eighth in a row against their county and region opponent and moved to 17-8 all-time against Hephzibah (4-4, 1-2).
Stephens caught seven passes for 121 yards while adding an interception and touchdown on defense. The senior athlete was a consistent target for quarterback Mason Cobb, who went 9 for 14 for 144 yards, added 36 rushing yards and a touchdown.
Star senior running back Malik Knowles rushed 17 times for 67 yards. Richmond Academy’s offensive athletes shared the spotlight with the defense, which held Hephzibah scoreless and limited the Rebels to only 10 first downs.
Hephzibah’s Rayquan Riley rushed 17 times for 81 yards, while Max Lockwood was held to 58 passing yards. The Rebels never threatened until the final seconds when a Lockwood pass fell incomplete in the end zone.
Richmond Academy set the tone on its first possession by quickly marching down field and scoring on a 15-yard run by Cobb, who got the offense to that point by throwing a 30-yard pass to Stephens.
Despite being stuffed at the 1-yard line on fourth down and fumbling on its next two possessions, Richmond Academy continued to drive on offense while holding Hephzibah to little production. Judson Pickett kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:45 left in the second, then Stephens returned an interception 40 yards for a score and 17-0 halftime lead.
Richmond Academy continually ran the clock down on offense in the second half while letting its defense preserve the shutout.
Neither team scored in the second half.
Reach David Lee at (706) 823-3216 or email@example.com.