SAVANNAH - The Blue Tide football team had tasted defeat over the last two weeks and looked to get back in the win column Friday, Oct 6 as they faced off against the Beach Bulldogs.
They went into the game without their star running back Ahmari Douglas, but this just meant that a few of the younger backs needed to step up in the game, as the Blue Tide posted a 58-29 win.
The defense forced a three and out and after a short punt, the Tide offense took over from the Bulldog 45. On third and 5 from the 26, Jashaun Manghane called his own number and raced to the endzone for an apparent touchdown.
However, an illegal procedure penalty brought the ball back to the 31. Manghane hit Cortney Charles for an 8-yard gain, setting up a fourth and 2 at the 23. Needing the 21, Manghane was less than a yard shy of the mark, giving the ball back to the Bulldogs there.
On the next series, Charles needed just one play to go 61 yards untouched for the touchdown. The Tide led 6-0 with 5:27 left in the first.
After the Tide defense forced a third straight three and out, the Tide took over at its own 49.
They started chipping away on the ground before finally looking to the air from the Bulldog 21. Manghane looked for Mareon Montgomery, who was wide open in the endzone, but could not make the catch. Montgomery made up for it later in the game.
As the second quarter began, the Tide faced another fourth and short from the 13-yard line, but the Bulldogs held.
On second down of the ensuing possession, Isaiah Miller and Kaden Gallups combined for a big sack, backing the Bulldogs up to their own 1.
The Tide forced their fourth straight three and out as the Bulldogs punted from under the goalpost. This set up the Tide offense with their best field position all night at the Beach 30.
Charles picked up 18 on the first play before sophomore Jaeson Carryl punched his way into the endzone for his first career touchdown as the Tide went up 14-0.
The Bulldogs finally picked up their first first down of the night, as a late hit penalty gave them 15 yards.
A pass interference call later in the drive set them up inside the Tide 20. A chopblock penalty backed them up to the 34, but a busted coverage two plays later allowed the Bulldogs to score to get within a touchdown with 6:29 left in the half.
Manghane wasted little time getting his team back on the board. Two plays into the next drive, he found a wide open Keshawn Smith, who went 69 yards to the endzone to make the score 22-7 with 5:28 left in the half.
The Tide defense was back to form on the next drive, forcing another three and out. The punt this time got a great roll, setting the Tide offense up at the Long County 15.
On third and 8, Manghane found freshman Jason Familia for a 32-yard pickup. The senior quarterback picked up 14 yards to the Bulldog 39 on the next play.
He made his first and only big mistake of the night on the next play. Under pressure, Manghane’s pass for Chris Hatfield was inter intercepted and returned to the Tide 19.
On fourth and 6, the Bulldogs drew the Tide offsides and converted the fourth and 1 on the next play. A completed pass down to the 1 set up a quarterback sneak as the Bulldogs went into the half down 22-14.
But there was even more scoring in the second half and the Tide started it, going right down the field with the opening drive of the third quarter. Carryl’s 24-yard scamper, his second of the night, made the score 30-14.
Beach cut the lead to 30-21, but on fourth and 7 from the Bulldogs 9, Manghane found a new target, Juju Clark, who caught his first ball of the season for a touchdown in the back of the endzone as the Tide went up 36-21.
The Bulldogs answered, getting a touchdown and two-point try to cut the lead to 36-29 with 10:56 left to go in the game.
Over the next 7:10, however, it was all Blue Tide.
A personal foul on the kickoff gave the Tide the ball in Beach territory at the 44 and from
the 31, Manghane finally connected with Hatfield as he was wide open and strode into the endzone to make the score 42-29.
On the next drive, Charles’ 38-yard run to the Beach 2 set up the next score, as Carryl punched in his third score of the night to put the Tide up 50-29 with 4:29 left to play.
Gallups forced a fumble, which Montgomery picked up at the Bulldog 20, and he walked into the endzone for the touchdown.
The two-point conversion made the score 58-29.
With the win, the Tide are now 4-3 and 2-2 in the region. They will have a week off before traveling to Hinesville to take on the Liberty County Panthers in what will likely be a game to decide the four seed in the Region 3-AAA playoff seedings.