The Long County Blue Tide football team has been itching to take the field to begin the new era under head coach Mike Pfiester. The team got that chance on Friday, August 13 as they traveled to Darien to face off against the McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers in their scrimmage game.
The Tide defense, led by new coordinator Kenny Pickens, took the field first and seemed to be in control the first drive. A pair of big tackles by senior Elias Lykes led to a passing down for the Bucs.
This is when junior cornerback Tashawn Brown took off around the edge and came up with a big strip-sack fumble. The Tide recovered inside the Bucs’ 10 yard line and the offense looked to have a big chance to strike early.
However, with a new offense often comes struggles as the first and third plays of the drive saw fumbles by the Tide. A fourth down incomplete pass led to a turnover on downs.
The Tide defense did come up big and seemed to have the Bucs stopped on a third and long, but a pass interference call kept their drive alive. Three plays later, the Bucs finally hit pay dirt.
They ran a reverse, but it was blown up by senior defensive lineman Garcia Milton. The reverse man, however, never got the ball, putting the Tide just out of position to make the play on the original ball carrier and leading to a 47-yard run for the score to give the Bucs a 6-0 lead.
The Blue Tide offense took the field again, but it was only for one play this time as the Bucs recovered a fumble inside the Tide 25 with the first quarter coming to a close.
On the first play of the second quarter, the Bucs, in great field position, found a receiver open down the field to give them a 13-0 lead.
The Tide offense got near midfield and turned the ball over on downs on a close run as the defense came back out on the field.
It seemed as though the Tide had their second big play on defense as senior Dwayne Rowe stripped the ball from a Buc player and returned it home for a touchdown, but the play was blown dead before the fumble.
The Tide, however, got the ball back on the very next play thanks to a fumbled snap. The Tide offense used this momentum swing to their advantage as sophomore running back Ahmari Douglas took the up-the-middle handoff and raced 70 yards for the score to get his team on the board.
The two-point conversion was no good and the Tide went into the locker room at the half trailing 13-6. The second half was reserved for second string and junior varsity players.
The third quarter was overall quiet aside from a few defensive plays, but the Bucs put up two scores in the fourth quarter. The Tide got big plays from freshmen Jaeson Carryl and Ja’markus Williams.
Carryl raced 65 yards down to the 15 yard line before Williams capped off the drive with a run up the middle for the touchdown.
The Blue Tide will be back in action for their first regular season game on Friday, August 20 as they travel to play the Berrien County Rebels. In last year’s home opener, the Tide led 21-0 in the first half before falling to the Rebels 41-21.