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Tides face tough schedule
Long County begins regional play Friday night
MR TideTough
Coach’s call! Coach Kyle Wilson talks to his young offensive line in the Savannah Country Day game. - photo by Mike Riddle / Coastal Courier
The Long County Blue Tide football team is only in their sixth season since resurrecting their football program back in 2002.
Having already won three games this season, they have already eclipsed their best season, which was last year when they finished 2-8.  But being 3-0 this year has turned a team, which other teams look forward to playing, into a team to be reckoned with in the 2-AA Region. But when you look at their season so far, just how good are they?
The teams they have won against are Savannah Country Day, Bryan County and Wheeler County. Their combined record is 1-9. Take into account they narrowly escaped with a win over Bryan County by a mere one point (41-40).
One area, which the team is very good in is speed and quickness. Starting tailback Prince Moody has quickness and durability, which is shown in his leading the team in both all-purpose yards (541) and in scoring (8 touchdowns).  
Quarterback Justin Boyd is another gifted athlete who has the ability to hit his receivers across the middle or on a buttonhook route. But he can also tuck the ball and hit an open lane when its there.  He is currently averaging 77 yards a game rushing and averages 6.79 yards per carry. He also has thrown 5 touchdown passes and is completing 58 percent of his passes. That’s not too shabby for a sophomore.
Head coach Kyle Wilson loves the four-wide spread formation, and this year he has players who have the capability of making plays after they catch the ball. Paul Lewandsoski and Stevie Harrison each have 2 touchdowns through three games, and Ricky Rivera is leading the team in receptions (10), average (15.5), and yards per game (51.7).
On defense, the team is being led in tackles by Denzel Richardson (13), Deandre McCall (14), and Stetson Strickland (15).  Justin Hall leads the team in sacks, with 3.
The question for the team at the beginning of the year wasn’t whether they had the players to fill the skill position, but whether they had the players to fill the offensive and defensive line. In comparison to some of the other teams in the region, both lines are small, and this was evident in the Bryan County game when the defensive line appeared to wear down in the fourth quarter. But even though they did bend when they needed to make the big play, the line stepped up to the plate, made the play and won the game.
According to Wilson, “The line is about where I thought they would be at this time of the year. In fact, they’re a little better. But the key is that they are improving each week.”
Wilson also said he has had to play a few players on both the defensive and offensive lines to make them stronger.
“The line has played well, but has at times made technique mistakes which we are working, and will continue to work,” Wilson said.
The Blue Tide will be thoroughly tested throughout the rest of the year, as the teams on their remaining schedule have a combined record of 17-3, and five of the teams are undefeated, including three-peat state champ Charlton County.
“If we play up to our capabilities, and the defensive line and the offensive line step it up, we can make some noise in the (2-AA) region,” Wilson said.

Blue Tide upcoming game
Well, they will get their chance to make some noise this week when they take on the Appling County Pirates. The Pirates beat the Tide 42-19 when they played them last year in Baxley and this year they bring a 2-1 record into the game.
I’m going out on a limb, and predicting Long County will win that game in a shootout 30-28.
The game will be in Ludowici at Veterans Stadium Friday and starts at 7:30 p.m.
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