Long County will travel to Chatham County Friday to take on New Hampstead (1-3) in a non-region game. The Blue Tide (1-1) will try to bounce back after falling to Windsor Forest (1-1) last week 25-15.
Last week against the Knights, Long County struggled to move the ball. This was the second week in a row when the offense unit had difficulty.
According to MaxPreps.com, through the first two games of the year the Blue Tide is averaging only 54 yards on the offensive side of the ball with 41 yards coming in the air and 13 on the ground.
Though the Long County defense did have a better outing than their counterparts against Windsor Forest. The unit struggled to stop the Knights on the ground.
With a larger and more physical offensive line, Windsor Forest pounded the ball for most of the game moving the chains and consuming the clock. However, the defense shut down two drives deep in their own territory and gave up only two touchdowns. The defensive unit also was able to put up its second touchdown of the season against the Knights, matching last week’s touchdown against Islands High School.
If Long County is going to bounce back against the Phoenix, the offense is going to have to be more productive so the defense is not on the field all night. Last week, the Blue Tide defense was on the field for over 90 plays. Through two games, the Blue Tide defense is averaging 85 tackles.
Whereas the Blue Tide has been struggling on offense, New Hampstead has been having success. The Phoenix offense is averaging 313 rushing yards per game.
They are led by quarterback Calvin Turner Jr., who is averaging 165 yards on the ground, while passing for another 124 yards. Long County will need its leading defenders, Jamin Davis (20 tackles per game) and Gerald Williams (12½ tackles), to continue to excel and push defensive teammates to step up.
New Hampstead and Long County are familiar with each other, having played the last two years. The Blue Tide won each of these games; 41-0 in 2014 and 46-24 last year. This year, New Hampstead has lost to Jenkins 21-20, Savannah Christian 46-31 and to Bluffton 54-0. Its lone win came against Islands High 39-14. Long County beat Islands 22-12.
While the Blue Tide are the statistical favorite, MaxPreps.com has New Hampstead 91 places higher than Long County in the state ratings.
Friday is homecoming for the Phoenix so they will be fired up. If the Blue Tide is going to improve its 2-1 record they will need to execute well and not make mistakes. The game is in Savannah and begins at 7:30.