The Long County Blue Tide football team has one game left in the 2022 regular season and it will be considered the biggest in school history. However, to get to that game they had to get through a matchup with one of the best teams in the state, the Calvary Day Cavaliers.
The Tide traveled to play the second-ranked Cavaliers on Friday, October 28 and it was all Cavaliers from the early goings of the game as Calvary posted a 48-0 win.
A Cavalier sack and fumble put Calvary at the Blue Tide 26-yard line for their second possession, and quarterback Jake Merklinger converted that into a touchdown run.
Up 21-0, the Cavaliers forced a fumble, turning away a Long County drive that reached the 12 and instead put the Cavaliers at the Blue Tide 37. That set up a Calvary touchdown late in the second quarter for a 28-0 lead.
Merklinger, rated as a four-star prospect, threw touchdown passes of 22 and 61 yards. Merklinger finished 11-of-16 passing for 262 yards and three scores.
A return of a blocked punt gave Calvary its final score of the game. The Cavaliers defense, which has allowed just 21 total points over the last four games, forced four turnovers.
With the loss, the Tide are now 5-4 and 3-3 in the region. Thanks to Johnson’s upset loss to Savannah Country Day, the showdown between the Tide and Atomsmashers, boasting the same 5-4 and 3-3 region record, next week is a big one.
The winner of that game will clinch the final spot in the playoffs for Region 3-AAA. The Tide will be looking to win its sixth game of the year, which would be a team record.
That game will take place Friday, November 4 against Johnson with a kickoff time of 7:30 p.m.