After a four-day delay due to Hurricane Matthew, and then a forced one-half hour early start due to an unexpected power outage at Veteran’s Field, the Long County verses Appling County football game finally got underway on Tuesday at 5:30 jp.m. in Ludowici.
By the time it was over, the Pirates were 59-29 winners. Appling County went into the game as the clear favorite over the Blue Tide, being ranked #HHth in the state in last week’s MaxPreps AAA power poll.
But even though the Pirates were favored, Long County came out unintimidated.
The Blue Tide got the ball first near mid-field and wasted no time showing the Pirates that this game would not be a cakewalk. On Long County’s first play from scrimmage quarterback Elijah Wright rambled fifty yards before being tackled at the Appling one-yard line. On the next play Wright handed the ball off to Deodrae Volcy who crashed across the goal line for the 1-yard score. Aron Nevarez converted the extra point the Blue Tide led 7-0.
But even though Long County had the heart, it was painfully clear for the remainder of the first half, they could not matchup against the speed that the Pirates possessed on both sides of the ball. Appling scored on five of their next seven possessions to take a 31-7 lead. Before the half the Blue Tide put together a solid drive mixed with passes and runs to move to the Pirate ten-yard line. Wright then threw a jump-ball into the corner of the end-zone and tight-end Christian Bass brought it down for another score. Nevarez’s point after was good making the score 31-14. Appling scored once more and led at the half 38-14.
In the second half the Pirates got the ball first and wasted no time picking up where they left off in the second period as they scored on their opening drive to go up 45-14. On Long County’s second possession of the half their drive stalled and they were forced to punt. The Appling County return man bobbled the ball and Bass fell on it to give the Blue Tide the ball near mid-field.
On that same possession things didn’t look good for Long County as they faced a fourth and eleven situation at then Appling County 43-yard line. Once again Bass made the big play as he caught the ball for a thirty-one yard reception. On the next play Wright found wider receiver Elijah Montijo open for the 12-yard score. The Blue Tide faked the extra point attempt and Wright swept around the corner for the 2-point conversion to make the score 45-22.
On the ensuing kickoff the Pirates fumbled the ball and Long County was on the move once again. The Blue Tide drove down the field and faced a third and goal situation at the Appling County five-yard line. This time Wright found wide receiver Jamin Davis open for the touchdown. After Nevarez converted the extra point Long County had narrowed the score to two touchdowns 45-29. But on this night the visiting team was just too good for the home team as the Pirates put up two more scores to make the final score 59-29. After the game Blue Tide head coach Eric
McNair praised the Appling County team saying that they were the best team they had faced this year.
“They’re a great football team, some of the polls have them in the top-ten in the state, they are as good as your going to get in AAA ball,” McNair said.
McNair also found some praise for his team, but said that the must still continue to improve.
“I’m proud how we battled back tonight, at times we were a little better, and then at other times not so good, our offense moved the ball well at time, but in short we have got to be more consistent on both sides of the ball,” said McNair.
With the region loss Long County falls to 1-2-2 overall and 0-1 in the 2-AA.