The Long County High School football team lost to Toombs County 34-21, Friday in Lyons, but head coach Ron Flott called it the Blue Tide’s the best performance of the year.
“It was our best game of the year. Of course I’m not pleased with the outcome, but we played pretty solid,” he said.
Neither team scored in the first quarter. Early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs’ Erion Gaffney broke a 55-yard scamper for the touchdown. Oswaldo Guzman converted the extra-point kick as Toombs led, 7-0.
The Blue Tide then drove down the field. Vanda Vereen Jr. raced 11 yards for a score and converted the two-point conversion to put Long County up, 8-7.
ing just past midfield, Toombs scored again when tailback Jamar Smith went around the corner for 44 yards. Guzman’s kick gave the home team a 14-8 lead at halftime
Near the end of the third quarter, Smith scored on a 6-yard run and added the 2-point conversion as Toombs led, 22-8.
Long County once again drove down deep into Bulldog territory with Vereen punching it in from the Toombs 1. Mike Abrams kicked for the extra point and the Blue Tide narrowed the deficit to six points, 21-15. Smith scored twice more for the Bulldogs and with only two minutes to play, the home team led, 34-15.
But as they have all season, the Blue Tide fought back, driving to inside the Toombs 5. With less than a minute to play, Brendon Scott scored from 3 yards out. Long County went for two, but came up short.
After the game, Flott praised the play of Smith and that of several other players.
“The difference in the game was No. 22 (Smith),” Flott said. “He was a heck of a football player. If you make one mistake against him, he made you pay for it.
“Vanda had a good game, obviously, scoring a couple of touchdowns and playing both ways. Michael Abrams, he had a good game at tight end and outside linebacker, and Raymond Mesa, he played a heck of a game on the offensive line. For that matter, our whole offensive line played a good game.”
Flott said that his team has improved dramatically during the past couple of weeks, but it still is making too many mental errors.
“We’re getting better, but we still are making too many mental mistakes, and when we make a mistake, we pay for it,” he said.
With the loss, the Blue Tide fell to 1-6 overall and 0-6 in Region 2-AA.
This Friday, the Blue Tide are back at home, looking to pick up their first region win of the year against Jeff Davis County. The Yellow Jackets bring a 1-6 overall record in to the game and a 1-5 region mark. The game is homecoming for Long County, with the kickoff scheduled for 7:30.
Pick up a Friday Courier for a preview on the game and to find out who was the player of the week in the Toombs County game.