Long County will try to pick up its third win in a row Friday when the Blue Tide hit the road to face McIntosh County Academy in a huge Region 2-AA game.
Last Friday, the Blue Tide (3-4 overall, 2-2 in region) had their best showing of the year, as they thumped Groves 40-0 in Ludowici. MCA, on the other hand, fell 20-19 to Bryan County last Thursday at home.
In 2012, the Buccaneers had an 8-1 mark in Region 2-AA and made the playoffs. Last year, however, they went 0-10 and were clearly the worst team in the region.
For years, the Blue Tide took beatings at the hands of the Buccaneers, but last year, Long County finally ended that misery by handedly beating MCA 46-12.
This year, the Buccaneers (2-5 overall, 2-2 in region) have bounced back.
But even though the Darien team has only won two games, those two contests have been against region opponents, so, like Long County, the Buccaneers are in the thick of playoff contention.
When looking at common opponents, neither team has a clear advantage. Both teams dominated Groves, with the Blue Tide topping the Rebels 40-0 and the Buccaneers also beating them big, 50-14. But when looking at two other opponents, it gets a little confusing in picking a favorite.
Long County beat Jeff Davis 20-17, but lost to Vidalia 35-0; McIntosh County beat the Indians 15-14, but fell 21-13 to the Yellow Jackets.
In looking at this week’s MaxPreps-Foreman Power Poll, Long County would appear to be a slight favorite, coming in 20 spots above McIntosh County in the state rankings and four spots higher in the AA rankings.
When looking at points scored per game, the Blue Tide also are the favorite, putting up 23 points a night compared to the Buccaneers’ 17. In points allowed, the teams are fairly even. Long County allows 24 points per game, compared to McIntosh County giving up 22.
One area in which McIntosh County has clearly dominated Long County is in the series record, as the Buccaneers have won 10 of 11 games.
With the teams tied in the region standings, the game is a must-win for both schools if either wants to have a chance at making the playoffs.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Darien.