RHHS has a bye before facing May River Oct. 6
Subheadline: After 2 losses, Jaguars eye region season
In the second quarter of Ridgeland-Hardeeville’s 53-12 home loss to the Hilton Head Seahawks, Derald Nelson hit Jertaveon Smalls with a 27-yard pass to the Seahawks 7. Two plays later — with the Jags down 7-0 — Freddie Aiken ran 3 yards for a touchdown to make it 7-6.
That’s as close as the Jags (3-2) got last Friday night, as they were overpowered by a Class AAAA school for the second straight week.
But the team has its eyes on the Region 8-AAA season.
“Forget that,” Smalls said after the game. “We’re 0-0 now.”
“We’re looking forward to starting the region at May River,” the Jags’ Renae Wright said, referring to Jags’ next game, Oct. 6.
The mood wasn’t somber despite the loss.
“I definitely feel better tonight,” Jaguars coach Jahmaal Nelson said. “The guys didn’t give up. They kept going after it.”
The Jags started their first possession of the game at their own 7. Behind the running of Aiken and Jabari Williams, they advanced to the 34. Then, in what appeared to be a miscommunication, Nelson threw the ball straight to the Seahawks’ Darius Hill.
The Seahawks took advantage. On first-and-10 from the Hilton Head 39, Sterling Wright ran 61 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
“He’s a special player,” Coach Nelson said of White. “We saw the film, and we tried to get ready for him.”
The Jags defense kept the Seahawks offense out of the end zone for the rest of the first quarter
In the second quarter, RHHS hit paydirt when the Nelson-to-Smalls pass for 27 yards set up Aiken’s 3-yard touchdown run to make it 7-6.
Identifying Nelson, Williams, Smalls, Aiken, Ronald Zimmerman and Mar’Quese Grant, Coach Nelson said, “Those six are my playmakers. I told them, ‘I’m counting on you guys.’ ”
On the ensuing drive, Kaleb Frazier sacked Collin Kaiser for a 13-yard loss.
The Seahawks answered with a 16-yard touchdown pass from Kaiser to Nathaniel Brown. A successful two-point conversion made it 15-6.
When the Jags tried to respond, Nelson lost a third-down fumble, and the Seahawks (3-2) dominated the rest of the way.
At 2:02 to go in the half, with score 25-6, the Jags faced third-and-10 at their own 45. Nelson hit Williams with a 46-yard pass to the Seahawks 9.
Two plays later, Nelson found Smalls in the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown to make it 25-12.
In the third quarter, the defense pinned the Seahawks on their own 3, and a shanked punt appeared to give the Jags excellent field position.
The ball touched Grant, however, and White picked it up and ran 56 yards to the Jaguars 22, leading to another Seahawks touchdown.
“You can’t do things like that,” Coach Nelson said.
With a bye this week, the Jags have two weeks to prepare for the May River Sharks (1-4), which is coming off a 28-27 loss at Manning.
“We’re excited about the region,” Coach Nelson said. “We’re 3-2, but I’m approaching it like we’re 0-0.”
“We can’t point fingers at each other,” Smalls said. “We need to play as a unit.”