Victory. It’s something the Long County Blue Tide football team hasn’t tasted since late August of 2016.
While their win over the Southeast Bulloch Yellow Jackets won’t officially go down in the record books, it certainly gave the Blue Tide players, coaches, and fans something to look forward to going into the 2018 season.
The Tide’s varsity team defeated the Yellow Jackets 14-7 in three quarters of play in a game where score was not officially Friday, Aug. 10.
As the score might suggest, it was a defensive struggle for 36 minutes of play, which showed in the first quarter. The Tide and Jackets traded punts on their first possession before the Blue Tide made a gutsy call and converted a fourth and two in their own territory. Unfortunately, the risky play call by head coach J.T. Pollock did not pay off as the Tide fumbled on the next play.
The first quarter came to a close with a scoreless game, but the Yellow Jackets were the first to strike. Quarterback Blaize Minick hit CJ Coney down his own sideline from 25 yards out. Jonah Jones made the extra point to make the score 7-0.
The Blue Tide offense, led by junior quarterback Treyon Davis, gritted its teeth as time ran down in the first half. They drove deep into Jacket territory before Davis hit running back Troy Balsinger with a beautiful roll out pass to put his team inside the five-yard line. Two plays later, running back Kendall Lovett plunged his way into the endzone with freshman kicker Alex Cortinas Morales knotted the score up with the extra point.
The Tide and Jackets went into halftime tied at 7, but the home team quickly turned the tide early in the third quarter.
On their first possession of the second half, the Blue Tide got a boost from senior running back Tavon Anderson. He lived up to his nickname “Speedy” as he raced 75 yards for the touchdown. Cortinas Morales’s extra point made the score 14-7, the eventual varsity final.
The Blue Tide offense ended with over 200 yards on the ground and the defense played exceptionally well by holding the Jackets under 200 yards total and recording four sacks, two of which belonged to junior Malik Berry. Davis finished 3-3 passing with 76 yards through the air.
The Tide will officially open the 2018 season on Friday, Aug. 17 as they travel to play the South Effingham Mustangs, the first meeting for the two teams.