After a disappointing 21-14 loss to Tattnall County on Friday in Reidsville, the Long County football team will have its open week this week.
Last week, the team played well at times and poorly at others.
One area that stood out last week as needing improvement was special teams. Two snaps went high over the punter’s head. On one of the plays, the punter made a great save, going up to retrieve the ball and getting off the kick. But on the second bad snap, the kicker was unable to get the kick off and was tackled for a loss, giving the Battle Creek Warriors good field position deep in Blue Tide territory.
Another area that haunted Long County was on an extra-point attempt. When the Blue Tide scored their first touchdown, during the point-after attempt, the kick barely cleared the heads of the offensive line. As a result, when the Tide scored their second touchdown, they were forced to go for a 2-point conversion. The offense converted, but this is an area that will need to be addressed, or it could come back and haunt the team in a close game.
Another special-teams error came on the opening kickoff of the second half, when Long County allowed the Warriors to return the kickoff for a touchdown. Fortunately for the Blue Tide, an illegal block by Tattnall County wiped these points off the board, but breaks like that won’t come around in every game.
The Blue Tide also struggled with penalties. An early offside penalty was crucial in giving Tattnall County a first down on a fourth- down play and continuing an eventual scoring drive. Though this one error by the defense was a big mistake, it was clear that the offense struggled more with penalties. On several occasions, the Long County offense was called either for an illegal shift or movement somewhere, resulting in lost yardage.
On a positive note, Long County did several things pretty well during the night. On offense, the running game looked good and there even were some successful passing plays.
Meanwhile, the Long County defense allowed three touchdowns — not a bad night against a school that is in a higher classification than the Blue Tide.
Even on special teams, the Blue Tide recovered an onside-kick attempt to give Long County a chance to rally late in the game. But the biggest thing that Long County did right was not quitting. Despite falling behind by three scores, the Tide fought hard and narrowed the gap to a touchdown.
The next game for Long County (0-1) will be on Sept. 11, when the Tide travel to Metter to take on the undefeated Tigers (2-0).