In a penalty-heavy game, flags adorning the field at Veteran’s Stadium, the Blue Tide lost to the Benedictine Cadets 45-10 on Friday in Ludowici.
Long County came out of the gate in full stride with their offense seemingly in good working order. With quarterback Jake Durham at the helm of a balanced attack of running and passing, the Tide quickly drove the ball inside the Benedictine’s five-yard line. However, penalties and a solid BC defensive front kept Long County out of the end zone.
Tide kicker Miguel Hernandez didn’t come away empty handed, though. He booted an early field goal, giving his team a 3-0 lead.
On the next possession, the Cadets started their drive at their own 45-yard line. Quarterback Alex Hunt handed the ball off to Mike Summers, who ran around the left side to score a long touchdown. The PAT was good.After the kickoff, the Blue Tide began to drive deep into their own territory, moving the ball well. Durham hit running back Glenntis Watkins and wide receiver Justin Boyd for gains, but the Tide’s drive stalled at midfield and the home team punted.
The BC return man took the ball to the Tide 46-yard line, giving the Cadets great field position. Facing a second and 8, Benedictine lined up in the wildcat formation and Summers took the handoff to the Long County 18-yard line. The Cadets drove the ball to the 1 and John Williams took it in for a score. After a successful extra-point attempt, the Savannah team went up 14-3.
With about six minutes left in the first half, Long County had the ball deep in their own territory, facing a second and 20 call. With Boyd at QB, the senior tucked the pigskin away and raced 38 yards for a first down. On the same drive, the Tide had another long third down situation from their own 48-yard line. They needed 20 yards to keep the drive going. With Boyd behind center and Durham lined up wide, the QB hit his counterpart for a 20-yard reception, giving the Tide a first down at the BC 32-yard line.
After two plays, Long County faced another third down play. This time, they needed 16 yards for the first. Boyd found Donte Brown for a big gain and the Tide got a first down at the BC 11-yard line. Calling on their ground game, Marcus Williams and Brandon Hope stepped up and Hope took it in for a score. After the Hernandez conversion, the score was BC 14 and Blue Tide 10 with 3:24 left in the first half.
From this point on, the Tide had few highlights. The visitors scored 31 unanswered points.
After the game, Long County head coach Kyle Wilson told his players, "We’ve got to hang in there and we’ve got to keep fighting and fighting. We have to get through this and get better."
Wilson said that despite the score, he felt his team played hard and gave a solid effort.
The defeat was the third Region 2-AA loss for the Blue Tide and their fourth loss of the season. The Cadets’ Region 2-AA mark is now 2-0, and their hope for an undefeated season is still alive.
This Friday, Long County travels to Reidsville to take on the Tattnall County Battle Creek Warriors. See Friday’s Courier for a preview of the game.