The warmup games are over, now the real games begin.
Friday, the Long County High School football team will play in their first Region 2-AAA game of the year. Though the Blue Tide are still looking for their first win of the season, the team could easily be 3-2 with a couple of breaks.
Long County lost to both Bradwell Institute (6-0) and Windsor Forest (4-1) on last second field goals, and only lost to Islands High School (2-3) by a touchdown.
Though Long County lost 49-35 to New Hampstead (3-2) last Friday, that game was closer than the score indicated with the game tied 35-35 with just over three minutes to play.
The only game where the Blue Tide was clearly outmatched was in week two when they lost 39-14 to Jeff Davis (3-2).
But as kids say on the playground, close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades.
At the end of the day, Long County still sits at 0-5 going into their region games. This week they begin their region schedule taking on Appling County. Like Long County, the Pirates are also looking for their first win of the season having lost to Charlton County (4-1), Wayne County (4-1), and Statesboro (2-3). Also like the Blue Tide, Appling’s games against Charlton County and Statesboro were both winnable with the Pirates losing to the Indians by 7 and to the Blue Devils by 5. In the Wayne County game they were blown out 49-14.
For Long County first year head coach J.T. Pollock a win this week would be especially sweet since he will be facing his old team. As the head coach of the Pirates he compiled an 89-49-2 record with 7 of those wins coming over the Blue Tide. But Pollock knows that if his team is going to pull off the upset on the road, they will have to play their best football and not worry about how many close losses they have suffered up to this point. When asked last Friday, about what his team could gain from having lost another close game, he said he wanted them to continue to play hard and not focus on the losses.
“My biggest fear (from the close losses) is that we will want to give up. We’re getting there, and we’re getting better each week. The guys just have to hang in there and not give up,” he said.
Long County will also have to play a solid game on both sides of the ball if they want to beat the Pirates. Against Bradwell the Blue Tide defense made big play after big play holding the Tigers to only 10 points. Then last week that same defense struggled all night allowing the Phoenix to score on 6 of 9 offensive possessions. The Long County offense will also have to do better. Last week they looked like a juggernaut, at times putting up 35 points. But the week before against Bradwell they could barely move the chains scoring only one touchdown.
One thing that will be certain, after this week’s game, either Long County or Appling County will no longer be winless. The game is in Baxley and it starts at 7:30. p.m.