The Long County football team Friday beat Claxton High School 28-6 in Ludowici.
Though it was only a preseason scrimmage, it had the feel of a regular season game with a packed stadium to watch the Blue Tide.
Long County scored on its second possession of the night when tailback Eric Crawford rambled into the end zone from 10 yards out. Aaron Nevarez converted the extra point to put the Blue Tide up 7-0.
Neither offense was able to move the ball over their next few possessions, but on Claxton’s fifth possession, Norea Hunter sprinted for a 44-yard touchdown. The Tigers’ extra point went wide, preserving a one-point Blue Tide advantage.
Just prior to half-time, Long County quarterback Elijah Wright hooked up with Jamin Davis for a 17-yard touchdown reception. Nevarez’s extra-point kick split the upright and the Blue Tide led 14-6 at the break.
In the second half, the varsity squads played one quarter, and the Long County defense shut down the Tigers on both of their possessions.
The Blue Tide also got the ball two more times, capitalizing on both opportunities. Crawford scored on a 4-yard run and Jonathon Elder scored on a 16-yard scamper. Nevarez nailed both conversions, giving Long County the 28-6 victory.
In the fourth period, both teams played the junior varsity squads. Neither team able to put up any points.
After the game, Blue Tide head coach Eric McNair praised both his offensive and defensive units.
“Our offense moved the ball well early,” he said. “They began to blitz us a lot, but we started picking them up. Both of our quarterbacks (Tripp Stapleton and Wright) had a great game, we just had a few dropped passes to clean up. But really I’m pretty positive with what our offense did tonight.”
He added, “Our defense played great. I know they didn’t get many first downs out there, and really all we gave up was the one big play. We read our keys and did our job, just a great night on defense.”
McNair said hard work made the victory possible.
“The players are trusting the process and doing what they were coached to do,” he said. “What we saw tonight was the end result of a lot of hard work over the summer during our conditioning and in the weight room.”
Long County opens its season on Aug. 26 in Savannah against Islands High, which went 1-9 last year.