Long County’s game against Bacon County on Friday in Ludowici actually appeared to be two different contests.
The Red Raiders dominated the first half, scoring on five of six possessions to jump out to a 34-0 lead at the break.
But in the second half the Blue Tide once again rallied as they have all season to narrow that score to two touchdowns.
But in the end, Bacon County walked off the field with a 46-24 win in both teams’ second 2-AA region game of the year.
Down by five scores in the third quarter, Long County began its first drive at its own 18. Despite a big 31-yard scamper by Eric Crawford, the drive stalled at the Bacon County 38. On the Raiders’ first drive of the second half, the Blue Tide defense held, forcing them to punt for only the second time in the game.
Long County got the ball back at its own 22. Blue Tide quarterback Brendon Scott found wide receiver Perrell Brisbane open for a 36-yard reception and hit fellow wide receiver Stephon Adderly for a 24-yard pass. With Crawford also scrambling for a 23-yard rush, Long County moved the ball to the Bacon County 6. Scott then handed the ball off to Crawford, who found the hole to run in for a 6-yard touchdown. After Elijah Wright punched in the two-point conversion, the score was 34-8. Though the Tide appeared to have something to build on, the visiting team came right back and scored again, making the margin 40-8 after three quarters of play.
But the Blue Tide continued to plug away. With more solid running by Wright and Crawford, Long County had the ball at the Bacon County 29. Scott dropped back for a pass and found Brisbane streaking down the right sideline. Scott slung the football and Brisbane snagged the pass, then went in for the score. Wright punched in his second two-point conversion of the night, cutting the deficit to 40-16.
After the kickoff the Raiders took possession and had the ball at their own 27. A blitzing Blue Tide defense forced a fumble by Bacon County, and then linebacker Keishawn Wagner picked up the ball and raced 79 yards for a touchdown. Scott took in the two-point conversion, and the score was 40-24.
Long County attempted an onside kick, but to no avail, and the Red Raiders had the ball near midfield. With a time-consuming drive, Bacon County marched down the field and had a first down at the Blue Tide 26 with only 16 seconds left in the game. With everyone expecting the visiting team to run out the clock and take home a 16-point victory, the Raiders dropped back for a pass and hit a receiver in the end zone for a touchdown with only 12 seconds left in the game. The conversion was missed, making the final score 46-24.
With the region loss, Long County fell to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the region. This Friday, the schedule only gets harder for the Blue Tide, as they travel to Vidalia for another big region game.