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Tide fall again, but show progress
After falling behind early, the Blue Tide defense settled down and played a solid second half during Fridays 38-8 loss to Appling County in a Region 2-AA matchup in Ludowici. - photo by Photo by Mike Riddle

Friday was homecoming for Long County High School, and a large crowd came out to see if the Blue Tide could hold their own against the state-ranked Appling County Pirates. 
Though the Tide fought hard, the team from Baxley was too big and too strong and beat the Blue Tide, 38-8.
“They’re No. 8 in the state and with good reason. They’re a tough team and well coached,” Long County coach Ron Flott said.
Flott said his team didn’t play as well Friday as it did against Brantley County, and he also said it was evident that the Tide still have some work to do to get stronger.
“We got down in the first quarter but really did come back and hold them pretty well,” he said. “We didn’t play our best game, but our players were mismatched on the field. ... We’re still about a year away from where we want to be, but we’re going to get there by working hard in the weight room.”
Flott said he sees his team’s improvement, even if it isn’t showing up in the wins column. 
“Most people wouldn’t see it in the game, but our defense is continuing to get better,” he said. “Most of the time in the game the kids did what they were supposed to do and were in the right place. Appling is just a good team. On offense, the fact is, we just had trouble blocking. But like I said, they’re a good football team and you saw that on the field.”
Flott was pleased with the effort of defensive end T.J. Sims and the special teams play and defensive play of Delante Singleton.
“T.J. hasn’t started for us this year but played well on defense, and Delante had some good returns and also played pretty good on defense,” Flott said.
Appling County improved to 8-0 while Long County fell to 0-8. Getting the first win won’t be easy for the Blue Tide, who travel to Reidsville on Friday to take on Tattnall County (4-4).
Flott said he expects a test when the Tide face the Battle Creek Warriors.
“I expect smashmouth football from Tattnall County,” he said.

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