Long County Bryan County
First downs 13 14 Rushing 194 217 Passing 5-10 3-5-1-1
Passing yardage 92 65
Fumbles - lost 1-1 1-1
Total plays 52 40
Total offense 286 282
Penalties 10-40 4-35
Long County High School fell, 28-21, to Bryan County on Friday in Pembroke in a hard-fought contest that went back and forth for four quarters.
“Our kids played with a lot of guts tonight,” first-year Long County coach Ronald Flott said. “They fought hard for 48 minutes, and as a coach, you can’t ask for any more than that. My hat’s off to the Bryan County team. They’re a well-coached team.”
Bryan County went up, 7-0, in the first quarter on a 27-yard run by Lawrence Erekosima and Ty Wilson’s extra point, but the Blue Tide came right back, driving to the Redskins 1-yard line, where Jermaine Gibbs punched it in for the score. Miguel Hernandez’ extra point tied the game at 7-7.
The Redskins, who went 0-10 in 2010, answered on a 53-yard touchdown pass from Jacob White to Raekwon Love, and Wilson’s extra point put the Redskins up, 14-7.
In the second quarter, Blue Tide linebacker Vanda Vareen stepped it up and made several tackles to help the Long County defense shut down the Redskins.
Bryan County got the ball first in the second half and moved the ball near midfield when Tyshawn Johnson hit Bryan County’s Dashon Dixon, popping the ball loose.
Johnson then scooped up the pigskin and raced 50 yards for the score, and Hernandez’ extra point tied the score, 14-14.
The Blue Tide got the ball back near the end of the third period when linebacker Fred Nelson intercepted a pass from White. Long County drove down to the Redskin 1, where quarterback Jacob Turner dove in for the TD.
Hernandez’ extra point put the Blue Tide up, 21-14, but Long County couldn’t hold the lead as Bryan County team put up two more scores to take a 28-21 lead with 8:14 left to play in the game.
That set the stage for what looked like a game-tying drive. After a deep kickoff by the Redskins, the Blue Tide started their drive at their own 20.
With a balanced blend of running and passing, the Long County team drove down to the Bryan County 8-yard line with time ticking away.
Long County appeared to score when Kwanzi Lattimore took a handoff and crossed the goal, but a penalty was called against Gibbs for illegal motion.
A big run by Deonte Ellis put the ball at the 5 with 1:49 left to play and the Blue Tide facing fourth-and-goal.
Turner handed the ball to Baggs, but he was swarmed by Redskin defenders for a 1-yard loss. The Bryan County offense took the field and ran out the clock to secure the win.
Leading the Blue Tide on the defensive side of the ball was Vareen, who had nine tackles and a sack, and Jeffery Hall, who had seven tackles and three sacks.
Offensively, Turner completed 5 of 10 passes for 92 yards, while Deonte Ellis had two catches for 47 yards. Nelson led the Tide rushing attack with five carries for 50 yards.
Jallell Baggs rushed seven times for 48 yards, Ellis had 12 carries for 40 yards, and Gibbs had 10 touches for 44 yards and a TD.
The Blue Tide (0-1) are back at home Friday to take on the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets (0-1). The game starts at 7:30 p.m.
Go to www.coastalcourier.com to see photos and a video from Friday’s game.