Penalties during Friday night’s football game plagued the Long County offense, and a triple threat of players on McIntosh’s side led to a landslide 40-0 victory for the Buccaneers in Darien.
Buccaneer running back Alvin Jackson broke the century mark in rushing yards and scored two touchdowns before the half. His teammate Jojo Wynn rushed more than 100 for three touchdowns, and Bucs quarterback Keon Button had a successful air game and rushed for a TD as well.
Although both teams were hits with the yellow flags throughout the game, the Blue Tide paid a higher price, losing yardage during critical positive gains and, more often than not, forcing the punt.The Tide didn’t see a first down until late in the first quarter when quarterback Justin Boyd found Jermaine Gibbs for a pass completion. Boyd tossed a pass to Brandon Hope, but the Tide drew an unsportsmanlike conduct call, costing them 15 yards. Boyd handed the ball to Marcus Williams and the Tide made it to the 17-yard line. However, Williams was hit behind the line of scrimmage on the next pay and Boyd was sacked, forcing the punt.
In the second quarter, Jake Durham, whose injury almost prevented him from playing, took over as the Tide quarterback. He ended up seeing time on both sides of the ball.
Durham hit Boyd for a 35-yard pass completion. But on the next play, the Tide was flagged for illegal procedure. Durham found Donte Brown for a completion, bringing the Tide inside the 20-yard line. But on the next play they fumbled and the Bucs recovered.
The Tide defense held strong, nearly earning a safety and forcing the Bucs to kick the ball out of their own end zone. It was a short kick and it appeared the Tide would get great field position inside the Bucs’ 28-yard line, but they were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct call, pushing the ball back 15 yards. Two plays later, they were called for a false start. Two more plays down the road, they were flagged for another false start and, suddenly, the Ludowici squad faced fourth down.
The Tide went for it on the fourth down with a Hail Mary pass to Boyd, who looked for the pass interference call, but instead, the Bucs took over near mid-field. Buc players Button and Jackson kept pounding the Tide defense. Tide defender Robert Goslee broke up a pass and Button was nearly sacked by Chris Bukner as he scrambled out of the pocket and threw a pass toward the far sideline.
On the Tide sideline it appeared to be an uncatchable ball, but the referees called pass interference against the Tide and added 15 yards for the Bucs.
Tide coach Kyle Wilson questioned the call and was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, giving the Bucs another 10 yards. The Bucs faced a first and goal to set up the next McIntosh touchdown to close the half up at 26-0.
In the third, penalties continued to plague the Ludowici team. Durham completed a pass to Brown, but it was called back. Durham tucked the ball for a run, but he came up short and they had to punt.
Suddenly, the flags were being tossed against the Buccaneers and the Tide offense took over at their own 28-yard line. A false start call against the Tide hampered their forward progress and they were forced to punt.
After forcing the Bucs to punt toward the end of the third quarter, Durham hit Williams for a screen pass, but the referees flagged the play and said he was beyond the line of scrimmage. A few plays later Durham was sacked, forcing the punt.
Wynn closed the third quarter with a 32-yard touchdown run for the Bucs and open the fourth with a 61-yard TD run for the 40-0 win.
"The worst thing we can do is hang our heads," Wilson told his players after the game. "We must stay focused … We got Benedictine next week guys and we got them at home so let’s get this thing turned around and keep our heads up."
Wilson said if they keep fighting, things will turn around, but he said penalties really hurt the squad.
"It was penalties again," he said. "That was basically it. There’s not much more I can say. We’ve got to fix those mistakes."
Wilson said the positive aspect was they didn’t have as many dropped balls as they’ve had in the past and, while he was disappointed with the score, he said, "Last year it was 42-0 at the half against this team. But we do have to find a way to get our offense back on track."
Buccaneers coach Robby Robinson said his triple threat would not be possible without a little help.
"I’m proud of them, but it all starts with our offensive line," he said. "Our offensive line opened up some pretty big holes for them, gives our quarterback good protection and these guys just make plays."
The Tide will host Benedictine next Friday at Veterans Stadium in Ludowici at 7:30 p.m.