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Long County Blue Tide get back in win column
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Long County picked up its second win of the year by defeating New Hampstead Friday in Ludowici. The Blue Tide jumped out to a 34-0 lead at the half and never looked back in beating the Phoenix 46-24.

Long County began the night with quarterback Brendon Scott connecting with wide receiver Jack Lauver for a 15-yard touchdown. Tailback Jaquarius Harrison followed that up with a 20-yard TD run. Scott then connected with Perrell Brisbane for a 33-yard score and Stephon Adderly for a 40-yard score. Harrison closed out the half by scoring again, this time on a 60-yard run.

In the second half, the Blue Tide received the ball first but fumbled it away, giving New Hampstead good field position at the Long County 27. But four plays later, Long County defensive back Tariq Carpenter intercepted a pass by the Phoenix quarterback to give the Blue Tide the ball back at their own 20. Long County then drove down the field and scored again on a 23-yard run by Eric Crawford into the end zone. After a failed PAT, the Blue Tide led 40-0.

New Hampstead finally got on the scoreboard late in the game, when Carl Brown scored from the 15-yard line. After a successful two-point conversion, the score was 40-8 Long County. The visiting team then kicked an onside kick and recovered the ball near midfield. But when the New Hampstead quarterback put the ball in the air, Blue Tide defender Brett Blake intercepted the pass. After four plays, the Blue Tide were forced to punt, giving the Phoenix the ball at their own 33. Once again, New Hampstead drove down the field for a touchdown, and after a second successful two-point conversion, the score was 40-16.

New Hampstead tried another onside kick, but this time the strategy backfired, as Jamin Davis snagged the ball near midfield and took it to the house for another Blue Tide touchdown. New Hampstead scored once more as time wound down, making the final score 46-24.

Long County head coach Eric McNair praised his team on both sides of the ball.

“We came out, started strong and did a lot of little things right,” McNair said. “As the night went on, we got progressively better, and we really did well with our passing game and both our offense and defense played well.”

McNair said that even though this was only his team’s second win, he still feels the Tide can make the playoffs.

“I hope that this win builds up our confidence as we prepare for the final stretch of our region games,” McNair said. “We still have a chance to be in the mix at the end of the year when the playoffs get here.”

With the win, Long County improved its overall record to 2-4 while its 2-AA Region mark remained at 1-2. With the loss New Hampstead fell to 5-2 overall, and the Phoenix have yet to play a region opponent in the Region 7 Freelance Division.

The Blue Tide will be back at home to take on struggling Groves (0-6 and 0-3) in a big region game this coming Friday. See Wednesday’s Courier for a preview of this contest.

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