Liberty County put a damper on Richmond Hill’s homecoming festivities by taming the Wildcats with a 32-13 win in Bryan County Friday night.
For the Panthers, the victory was just a little extra icing on their cake as the 7-3 overall and 4-2 Region 3-AAA home team already clinched third place and a post-season bid in the region.
"It always feels good to go into the playoffs on a winning note," coach Kirk Warner said. "We also had the opportunity to rest some of our players and heal some minor injuries as we start to look toward the playoffs."
The Panthers were first to pounce, setting up a scoring drive ending in a 2-yard run by Panther quarterback Julian Stokes. The PAT was good and the home team was quick to add another touchdown by Shadrach Thornton after the Wildcats fumbled the ball on their opening drive. But the Panthers were unable to convert the PAT.
The Panthers extended their lead to 16-0 after kicker Cody French hit a 28-yard field goal.
The Wildcats had possession of the ball, but the Panther defense forced the punt. The punt was blocked and a Wildcat picked up the ball to run, but was hit by a Panther in the end zone for a safety.
Stokes added two more scores for the 32-13 win.
The Panthers have a bye week next Friday, affording them the opportunity to see how the region plays out and who they will likely draw in the first round. The Panthers will play the second seed team in Region 2-AAA — the winner of next week’s Troup versus LaGrange game. The Panthers will play on the winner’s home turf.