The Long County High School football team lost 38-6 last week to the Pierce County Bears. The loss ended a dismal season for the Blue Tide, which went 0-10.
After back-to-back 4-6 seasons in 2007 and 2008, the Blue Tide was expected to have its first winning season. But, instead of a winning season, or even a .500 year, the Tide were winless for the first time since 2004.
Although this year’s team played well at times, they were plagued by inconsistency, turnovers and dropped balls from start to finish.
Long County’s once-potent offense crumbled this year, averaging only 11 points a game. However, the team did improve its running game, thanks in part to junior Marcus Williams and sophomore Brandon Hope.
Williams is good at taking the ball up the middle for yards, and Hope knows how to find an opening and slash through it. Both players are expected to return in 2010, with an even better running game.
Luke Golden and Josh Berry also pulled some serious offensive weight. The freshmen came on late in the season, but made plenty of catches when it counted. It’s a safe bet they’ll be pulling down a lot of grabs during the next three years.
Sophomore Jermaine Gibbs turned out to be a threat on the outside or from the backfield. He was injured early in the year, so the 10th-grader didn’t see a lot of playing time until late in the season. When it was time, though, his speed came in handy.
On defense, the Tide should see big plays in 2010 from Chris Stock, who will be a senior, and Jeffrey Hall, who will be a sophomore. Stock pulled off some big plays this season and Hall, as a freshman, was one of the squad’s best players.
On the special teams, Tide kicker Miguel Hernandez racked up points, missing just one PAT all season.
So, even though it’s time to put up the pigskin until spring, the Tide promise to come back bigger and better.