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Tide blows out Groves in record fashion
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For the second year in a row, the Long County Blue Tide football team set a record for points in a game against the Groves Rebels. On Friday, Sept. 15, they defeated the Rebels in the first region game of the year 76-26.

After shutting out their last two opponents, the Blue Tide defense got off to an inauspicious start as the Rebels found success through the air.

A defensive pass interference call pushed the Rebels up to their 43 before a pair of passes set them up at the Tide 15. The next play, they broke the Tide’s eight-quarter shutout streak with a pass to the endzone to go up 8-0.

The Tide offense answered quickly as on their first offensive play of the night, quarterback Jashaun Manghane called his own number and took off up the middle and went untouched for 60 yards. The two-point conversion tied the score at 8-8.

After a short Groves punt set up the Tide at the Rebels 23, Ahmari Douglas scored on a 15-yard run for a 14-8 lead.

Manghane’s 7-yard run on a fourth down kept the next Tide possession alive, and Douglas scored his second touchdown of the night on the next play as the Tide went up 22-8.

The Rebels scored to make it 22-14 with just seconds left in the first quarter but Douglas answered with his third TD of the night.

He fielded the kickoff from his own 19 and found room to run up the middle as he went 81 yards for the touchdown, his second kickoff return for a touchdown of the season. The Tide led 30-14 going into the second quarter.

After Chris Hatfield’s interception gave the Tide the ball again, Douglas made quick work on the drive. He took a handoff and went 81 yards for the score to put the Tide up 38-14.

The Rebels went back to the air to cut the lead to 38-20 but KeShawn Smith returned the next kickoff 65 yards for the touchdown to make the score 46-20. The Tide completed the trifecta of scores on the next drive as Hatfield snagged his second interception of the night and returned it 25 yards for the score to put the Tide up 52-20 with 8:18 left in the half.

The Tide forced a turnover on downs at midfield and Steven Wyatt picked up pretty much every yard on the Tide’s next drive, scoring from 35 yards out to put the Tide up 60-20 with 2:12 left in the half.

After forcing another Groves punt, the Tide took over from their own 37 with just under 2 minutes left in the half. It led to Manghane’s 37-yard TD run down the Groves sideline with just seconds left on the clock to make the score 68-20.

The 68 points is not only a record for points in a half for the Tide, but points in a game as well.

The second half was played with a running clock according to GHSA mercy rules. The Rebels scored early in the fourth quarter and the Tide’s second string got on the board as well.

Richard Iannucci scored from 4 yards out to make the score 76-26 as the game came to a close.

With the win, the Tide move to 3-1 and start 1-0 in region play. They will be on the road next week as they take on the Savannah Country Day Hornets in Savannah. The Hornets have lost two straight with a 35-0 loss to Savannah Christian on Friday. 

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