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Blue Tide loses heartbreaker
MR HeartbreakerWEB
Defense strong: Denzel Richardson, No. 21 and Jake Durham, No. 7, shutdown the outside lane to the Jeff Davis running back. Coach Kyle Wilson was pleased with the improvement on defense in Friday’s game. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle
Long County took on the Jeff Davis Yellow Jackets on Friday in Hazlehurst in a 2-AA Region game, but came up a little short, 27-28.
Despite amassing more than 460 yards of offense, the Blue Tide was unable to notch the win in a game that was highly competitive.
With a touchdown run by quarterback Justin Boyd and a scoring reception by wide out Paul Lewandowski, the first half was about as even as it could be with Jeff Davis being on top by one. The only difference was a missed extra point by Long County.  
The third period was also fairly even and neither team was able to put up any points, making the score Yellow Jackets 14 and Blue Tide 13.
The fourth and final period was one that went back and fourth with both teams showing the heart and talent to win. Regrettably only one could mark it down.
With less than 11 minutes in the game, the Blue Tide drove down to the Yellow Jacket two-yard line and had a first and goal.
On first down, the snap was low, and Boyd bobbled the ball taking the sack at the 11. But on the next play, the QB hit wide receiver Stevie Harrison for the score. Afterward, head coach Kyle Wilson decided to go for two. Standing in the shotgun, Boyd hit another of his wide-out targets, Ricky Rivera, and the score was 21-14 Long County.
Jeff Davis got the ball with 10:43 left in the game on their 38-yard line, and took less than five minutes to tie the game at 21-21. With 5:50 left in the contest, the Yellow Jackets kicked off to the Blue Tide.
On the kick-off, the Yellow Jacket kicker booted the ball high and return man Preston Cunningham mishandled it, fumbling the ball at the 36-yard line where Jeff Davis made the recovery.
From there, the Yellow Jackets moved down the field and scored another seven points, going up 28-21 with less than three minutes left in the game.
Despite being down, there was no panic on the Long County side of the field, as the offense took the ball on their own 22-yard line. With big receptions by Lewandowski and wide receiver Donte Brown, the Tide moved down the field until they had a first-and-goal situation on the Jeff Davis one-yard line, with 31 seconds left in the game.
Boyd then lined up behind the center and, deciding to keep the ball, dived over the left guard for the score.
Wilson then took his final timeout to decide whether to go for the tie or the win.
Deciding to go for the victory, he had Boyd line up in the shotgun formation.  When the ball was snapped, the sophomore felt pressure and he tried to get the pass to Rivera. But the ball was a little high, and fell to the ground, making the final score Jeff Davis 28 and Long County 27.
After the game, Wilson addressed his team saying, “This was a tough one to take, but when you’re on the road, you go for the win. We’re not out of this (the playoffs) but we have to stay focused and have even more determination.”
When asked about his team’s performance, he said, “We made too many mistakes, but we played hard and had a lot of intensity.”
Long County will be back home this week, as they take on the Savannah Christian Red Raiders in their homecoming game.
The Blue Tide now has record of 3-3, but are still looking for that first 2-AA Region win.
The Raiders have an overall record of 5-1 and they are 2-1 in the 2-AA Region standings. They also are coming off a strong performance against Charlton County, where they lost 19-21. The game will start at 7:30 p.m.
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