Long County will be back in the friendly confines of Ludowici on Friday as the Blue Tide face Bryan County, looking to bounce back after losing to McIntosh County last Friday in Darien.
The Redskins (4-4) have been a team on the rise over the last couple of years and made the playoffs in 2013 and 2014. This year, they started out slowly, dropping their first three games to Metter (16-0), Claxton (13-7) and Southeast Bulloch (35-21).
However, they have won four of their last five games, beating Groves (27-12), Bacon County (28-14), McIntosh County (20-19) and Jeff Davis (14-7).
Despite losing four games overall, Bryan County is in second place in Region 2-AA with a 4-1 mark. Its lone region loss came to Benedictine Military School, which sits atop the standings and is the No. 1-ranked team in the state, according to this week’s MaxPreps-Foreman Power Poll.
The Blue Tide (3-5), on the other hand, come into Friday’s game on the ropes. They are still mathematically alive for the playoffs, but in reality, the playoffs appear to be at least another year away. Last week, Long County was competitive against McIntosh County, moving the ball well, but struggling to notch points.
The defense didn’t have one of its best outings, either, making too many mistakes and struggling to make tackles. If the Blue Tide are going to pull out an upset Friday, they will have to do better on both sides of the ball this week.
Comparing the scoring between Long County and Bryan County, the Blue Tide have a big advantage, averaging 22 points a game and the Redskins only putting up 14 points.
But in the points-allowed category, Bryan County has the edge, only allowing 19 points a night, compared to Long County allowing 24. Against common opponents (Groves, McIntosh County, Jeff Davis, Bacon County and Metter), Bryan County also gets the nod, posting a 4-1 record, compared to the Blue Tide’s 2-3 mark.
One area that does favor Long County is playing at home.
This year, the Blue Tide are 3-1 when they play in Ludowici and 0-4 on the road.
Bryan County leads the series 7-4.
Friday’s game also marks the return of former Blue Tide head coach Ron Flott, who is now the offensive coordinator for the Redskins, to Ludowici.
The game starts at