Long County dropped to 2-5 overall and 0-4 in Region 2-AA with its 36-20 loss to Groves on Thursday in Garden City in a televised game.
In the first quarter, Long County struggled to get its offense in gear, running just six offensive plays and punting twice. Groves, on the other hand, moved the ball well, but made several mistakes. Still, the Rebels had the quarter’s lone score on a 14-yard touchdown run by Devin Nixon.
In the second period, Nixon added a second score when he ran in from 16 yards out to give the Rebels a 14-0 lead with less than a minute to play in the first half.
After the Rebel kickoff went out of bounds, the Blue Tide had the ball at their own 35-yard line. Quarterback Brendon Scott took the snap, rolled out to his left and hit wide receiver Stephon Adderly down the sideline with a perfect pass for a 67-yard touchdown seconds before halftime. After Carlos Nevarez kicked the extra point, the Blue Tide went in to the break only down 14-7.
On the opening kickoff in the second half, Adderly made another big play by taking the ball to the Rebels 45. But despite having excellent field position, the Blue Tide was unable to get the first down.
On Groves’ third possession of the second half, Nixon scored again, this time rushing in for a 12-yard touchdown. After a successful 2-point conversion, the Rebels led, 22-7.
On the ensuing kick, Adderly once again had big return by going to the Rebels 39. Moments later, Jaquarius Harrison raced in for a 27-yard touchdown to make the score 22-14.
But the Rebels answered right back, with Nixon notching a 67-yard rushing touchdown. After the 2-point conversion, the home team led, 30-14. Two possessions later, Groves scored again when quarterback Shabari Davis punched it in from 2 yards to go up, 36-14.
But even though the lead seemed unsurmountable, Long County continued to play hard.
With Groves on the move again, Davis attempted looked for an open receiver, but instead found Blue Tide defender Deondre Volcy for an interception. Shortly after, Harrison hit pay dirt again on a 20-yard touchdown.
Harrison finished the night with 74 yards on 12 carries. Nixon had 297 yards on 29 carries.
Groves improved its overall record to 5-2 and its region mark to 2-2.
The game will be re-aired at 10 a.m. Sunday on WSAV channel 3.
This Friday, the Blue Tide have their final home game of the season when they host McIntosh County at 7:30. The game also is senior night.
See www.coastalcourier.com and Wednesday’s edition of the Coastal Courier for a preview of that game.