Mac Nelson threw for two touchdowns and ran for a game-clinching score as the Mary Persons Bulldogs downed Long County 35-19 Friday night in the Class AAA state football playoffs.
Following Steven Wyatt’s interception deep in Blue Tide territory, the Tide got within 21-19 on a Nick Contreras field goal with 4:09 left in the third quarter.
But the Bulldogs converted two third downs on the following possession, and Nelson hit Seth Davis on a 38-yard scoring strike with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
Mary Persons held on fourth down at midfield, and the Bulldogs cashed that in on Nelson’s 9-yard keeper with 6:11 left to play.
The Bulldogs standout running back, Duke Watson, a Louisville commit, opened the scoring with a 74-yard jaunt. But the Tide answered on an Ahmari Douglas touchdown run and got the two-point conversion for an 8-7 lead.
Watson opened the second quarter with his second TD, a 4-yard run, and Nelson hit Davis in the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown pass to widen the lead to 21-8.
Keshawn Smith’s interception gave the Tide the ball at the Bulldogs 36, and J.D. Manghane hit Douglas with a 3-yard scoring toss with 12 seconds left in the half.
Long County ends the season at 6-5. Mary Persons (10-1) will host the second round against the winner of Hephzibah-Crisp County.