All of the warm-up games for Long County’s football team are over. Monday, the Blue Tide face Appling County in what will be the first region game of the year for both of the teams.
For Long County the contest will also be its first as a member of Region 2-AAA.
The game was moved to Monday night at 6 p.m. in anticipation of bad weather from Hurricane Matthew.
The Pirates come into the game with a 3-1 record, having beaten Dodge County 41-34, Wayne County 39-38, and Statesboro 21-14. Their lone loss came at the hands of Vidalia, which beat them in a tight contest 23-20.
Appling County is averaging 30 points a game while giving up 27 points. According to MaxPreps.com the Pirates are ranked No. 16 in the state in this week’s AAA poll.
On offense the Pirates are led by senior Keelan Crosby who has rushed for 665 yards and scored 12 touchdowns. He is averaging 7.7 yards per carry. Devon Moore is Appling’s leading receiver, having 201 yards on 11 receptions with three touchdowns.
On defense, the leading tackler for the Pirates is Zack Mayer who has 36.
The Blue Tide go into the game with a record of 1-1-2. They beat Islands High 22-12, lost to Windsor Forest 25-15 and tied New Hampstead 20-20 and Bradwell Institute 22-22. Both of the ties were winnable for Long County with a touchdown being called back due to a penalty against Bradwell and two turnovers against New Hampstead, resulting in two scores.
The Blue Tide is averaging only 20 points a game, but also only giving up 20 points a night. Defense has been the strength for Long County so far this year, but the squad has been on the field quite a bit in their four games.
Their opponents’ time of possession is evident by Long having four players with more than 30 tackles apiece. Jamin Davis leads the team with 68 tackles, Cody Cox has 41, Gerald Williams 40 and Tariq Carpenter 32.
The leading scorers for the Blue Tide are Elijah Wright, Eric Crawford, and Deondrae Volcey, who each have two touchdowns.
Though this is the first time that the two schools have played as AAA opponents, each is familiar with the other, having played several times when both were in the Region 2-AA. Appling dominated that series, winning all six of the games. The last victory was in 2011 when the Pirates won 38-8.
One advantage that Long County will have is that the game will be played in the friendly confines of Veterans Stadium in Ludowici. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.