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Jaguars fall to Bluffton, 50-22

  • Janine Wilson/Special to JCST Coach Jahmaal Nelson and RHHS lost to Bluffton 50-22.

Ridgeland-Hardeeville High fell 50-22 on Friday to visiting Bluffton in a SCHSL Region 8-AAA matchup.

Powered by a trio of speedsters, the Bobcats offense was hard to tame. I’kiem Jefferson, Jermaine Patterson and John Swinton III each scored two touchdowns in an impressive showing and will serve as a boost of momentum as they head into the postseason.

“A lot of people think we have just one player,” said Bluffton coach John Houpt. “But I think we showed we have the potential play anybody. All we need to do is execute and when we do that we are a pretty solid team. I think we have a bunch of talent.”

It was a sloppy start for the Bobcats (6-3, 3-1) who gave up two touchdowns in the first quarter. It was clear Bluffton wasn’t prepared for what the Jaguars (3-6, 0-4) had in store according to Houpt.

“I think we took them for granted,” said Houpt. “You cannot think like that. You cannot take anyone lightly. You have to be ready to go. And once we calmed down and were able to get past adversity hitting us in the face, we played our ball.”

Freddie Aiken put the Jags up early in the first quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run. Moments later, Jabari Williams stifled the Bobcats defense on a 97-yard run to pay dirt.

But Bluffton wouldn’t be put away easily. Patterson trimmed the deficit on a short run to the end zone and Jefferson added two runs of his own to put the Bobcats in front 22-14.

Derald Nelson pulled the Jagaurs within seven in the third quarter with a 15-yard score, but Swinton answered at the other end for the Bobcats to strengthen their lead. Bluffton continued to pull away to secure the win.

As for the Jaguars, their season ends without a playoff berth. They end the season on a six-game losing streak.

RHHS last reached the playoffs in 2014.

The Bobcats will host Hanahan in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs.

“Hanahan has a great football team,” said Houpt. “Their coach does a great job and they have a good running back. We need to expect to be in the playoffs and have a home game and in order to expect that you have to earn it. We believe, in the Bluffton bobcat family, that you should work hard, stick together as a family and we do that we get rewarded with home playoff games.”

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