South Effingham’s football team won arguably its biggest game in school history last week, defeating Washington County 23-14 at the House of Pain in Sandersville.
The Mustangs, who are 4-1, have had a successful first half of the season, including a win over county rival Effingham County.
However, South Effingham hasn’t really won anything yet.
That, hopefully, will change on Friday night when the Mustangs host Richmond Hill.
The 7:30 p.m. game kicks off the Region 3-AAA (A) subregion season, which determines whether South Effingham continues its five-year consecutive playoff run.
“No matter what the overall records are each team is 0-0 in subregion play,” SEHS coach Greg Manior said. “This is the first game for everybody, so if you want to go to the playoffs, this game is very important. You want to start out 1-0 and be a step ahead.”
Richmond Hill, like the past six seasons, is struggling this season. The Wildcats are 1-4 and are on a four-game losing streak. Richmond Hill lost 26-0 to Cross Creek last Friday, the third time the team has been shut out this season. The Wildcats have been outscored 141-22, but Manior said they cannot be overlooked.
“They look good to me,” Manior said. “They’re a scrappy group and they have a bunch of young kids who’ll hit you in the mouth. They play fundamentally sound football and have a good little team.”
On offense, Richmond Hill operates primarily from the Wishbone but has gone to a shotgun a few times. Defensively, the Wildcats run a 50, but at times go to a six-man front.
The Mustangs have defeated Richmond Hill the past five years, including last year’s 10-0 win.
Like last year at this time, South Effingham is currently on fall break and that concerns Manior a little.
“Hopefully, it won’t mess us up too bad, but we have to adapt,” he said. “Last year, we came out flat, but I think the guys who played last year know that Richmond Hill is not going to back down from a fight.”
If the game being the subregion opener isn’t enough to motivate the Mustangs, then the fact that it’s a home game should.
South Effingham will try to avoid losing consecutive home games at The Corrall They lost to Cross Creek 27-21 on Sept. 28.
Manior said his team has looked OK this week in practice, but health has been a concern. He said several players have become ill, but he said they should be ready for Friday’s game.
Richmond Hill at
• Records: RHHS 1-4, SEHS 4-1
• Time: 7:30 p.m.
• Where: The Corral, Guyton
• Tickets: $7 at the gate
• Radio: WSGA FM-92.3