Long County on Friday finally exorcised a demon that had been haunting the football program for 10 years.
Playing in front of a hometown crowd in Ludowici, the Blue Tide beat McIntosh County for the first time in program history, topping the Region 2-AA rival Buccaneers, 46-12, in a game they dominated from start to finish.
“It was a shot in the arm for our season … and it was a big win for our football program,” Blue Tide head coach Ron Flott said.
Long County’s Brendon Scott returned the opening kickoff to the MCA 39. Shortly after, Scott, running out of the shotgun formation, rumbled in for a touchdown. Carlos Nevarez’s point after attempt went wide left, but the Blue Tide still led, 6-0.
McIntosh County then fumbled on its first play from scrimmage, and the Blue Tide’s Xavier Stapleton picked up the ball and took it inside the MCA 29. Three plays later, Scott scored from the 1. The 2-point conversion attempt failed, leaving Long County up 12-0.
Shortly after the Buccaneers were forced to punt, Long County’s Jaquarius Harrison swept around the right side of the line and raced to the MCA 15. On the next play, Scott kept the ball and pounded his way in for another touchdown. Nevarez’s kick made it 19-0.
The Blue Tide recovered fumble on the next MCA play from scrimmage, setting up Harrison’s 21-yard touchdown run. After another Nevarez kick Long County was up 26-0.
After the kickoff, McIntosh County had the ball at its own 15. On the Buccaneers’ first offensive play, Long County’s Mikael Abram stripped the ball out from a Buccaneer running back and took it in for a touchdown and a 32-0 lead.
MCA returned the ensuing kick to near midfield. But on the Buccaneers’ first play from scrimmage, they again fumbled and Long County’s Mykoel Stanley recovered. Three plays later, Harrison scored from 10 yards out. After a successful PAT from Nevarez, the Blue Tide led, 39-0, at halftime.
In the first half, the Blue Tide defense forced six turnovers — four fumbles and two interceptions.
Scott scored again in the second half, and MCA notched two touchdowns.
The night also was Long County’s senior night and even though Flott praised all of his seniors, he had special words for three who had been with him for all four years of their high-school careers.
“I want to praise all the team, and all my seniors, but I want to give special praise to DeQuan Glover, Mykoel Stanley and Mikael Abram. These three seniors have played all four years, and they have been through some tough times with Blue Tide football, but they stuck it out. They’ve had the patience of Job and the courage of Sampson, and they really deserve this win on senior night,” the coach said.
With the win, the Blue Tide improved their overall record to 3-5 and 1-4 in Region 2-AA. McIntosh County fell to 0-8 overall and 0-5, respectively.
This coming Friday, Long County travels to Pembroke to face Bryan County. A preview of that game, as well as a story of the LCHS seniors recognized, will be available online and in Wednesday’s Courier.