What happens in the course of two minutes can make or break a football game — just ask the Long County Blue Tide. The team learned this lesson the hard way during Friday’s home game against Appling County.
With less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Tide was down 7-0. Long County had the ball near midfield with quarterback Justin Boyd facing a 3rd and 1 situation. Boyd looked for his receiver, but instead found a Pirate defender, who raced 46 yards for a touchdown and a successful PAT.
The Pirates kicked the ball deep and the Tide retained possession inside its own 10-yard line. They gained four yards on three attempts and faced a 4th and 6, forcing a punt from their endzone. Long County’s Jake Durham got the punt off, but the Pirates got the ball back at the Blue Tide 39-yard line.On the first play, Jarvis Wilcox took the pigskin up the middle for a score and another PAT, making the score 21-0. On the next kickoff, the Tide never got possession and the Pirates were on offense again, this time at the Blue Tide 33-yard line. Appling head coach J.T. Pollock called a reverse, and the Pirate runner raced around the end for a touchdown. Another successful extra point brought the score to 28-0. The visiting team had managed 21 points in less than two minutes.
After kickoff, the Tide got the ball at their own 35-yard line and junior running back Marcus Williams took the pigskin all the way down the field for a score. Miguel Hernandez kicked the extra point to put the Tide on the board.
With the score 7-28 and less than 10 minutes on the clock, Long County head coach Kyle Wilson went for an onside kick. However, the Pirates were expecting it and they fell on the ball at their own 45, giving their offense another chance to put up more points.
On the first play from scrimmage, the Appling runner took the ball and was hit by a swarm of Tide defenders. He gave up the ball and Long County linebacker Matt Moody fell on it, giving the Blue Tide a glimmer of hope.
Despite the effort, the Long County offense was unable to move the ball and the Pirates got it back and scored again, finalizing the score.
After the game, Wilson spoke to his team. "You did a good job. The score is not indicative of how you played. For three quarters, you played good, but we have to play well for four quarters."
He added, "I asked you to play hard every play and you did. There is no blame on either side. It comes down to execution. Now we go back to work and we keep improving."
This Friday, Long County takes on the McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers (2-1). For a preview of that game, pick up Friday’s Coastal Courier.