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Glitz and Glamour: Low Country comes back for win over Coastal Empire WSAV Blitz Border Bowl
Tommy Bliss
Richmond Hill safety Tommy Bliss (1) lines up for a play in WSAV Blitz Border Bowl - photo by Gerald Thomas III

SAVANNAH -- The stars were out at Memorial Stadium in Savannah for the WSAV Blitz Border Bowl on Saturday.

Players were selected from the Coastal Empire and Low Country South Carolina schools to compete in a Georgia vs. Florida football all-star game.

Low Country enjoyed a 14-13 come from behind win.

Coastal Empire won the coin toss and elected to receive.

And they scored.

On their first drive the marched to the 20-yard line and was met with a 4th and 10 situation.

New Hampstead and Coastal Empire Head Coach Kyle Hockman elected to go for it and Effingham County quarterback Matthew Ford found Jenkins wide receiver Tre Brown to convert.

Plays later South Effingham running back Cameron Edwards punched in a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead for Coastal Empire.

Before the first quarter ended Jenkins defensive end sacked Beaufort quarterback Tyler Haley to force a punt.

They didn’t capitalize though.

The second quarter was a scoreless one from both sides.

Low Country was sold a dream at a short field advantage after a muffed punt by Liberty County’s Marques Johnson was muffed due to an inadvertent whistle.

Speedy Robinson from Hilton Head Christian also muffed a punt – this one wasn’t reversed.

Coastal Empire took over the fumbled punt from the Low Country 25 but didn’t get any points out of it.

Before the half Haley was intercepted by Jenkins strong safety Jashard Richey. 

Coastal Empire kneeled it to let time expired before the went to the locker rooms.

As the game resumed in the third quarter, Coastal Empire still held the shutout – but it wouldn’t last for long.

They kicked off to begin the second half with John Cena’s theme song playing as Johnson defensive end laid an attitude adjusting hit on the Low Country returner.

Coastal Empire put up six points in the second half, both coming from field goals by Richmond Hill kicker/punter Gilbert Brown.

Two consecutive scores from Low Country pulled them ahead for the victory with Haley finding Wade Hampton receiver Jamian Risher on a lengthy touchdown pass to trim their deficit to 13-7.

Johnson’s quarterback Keon Edwards checked in at quarterback for Coastal Empire but was intercepted by Woodland cornerback Kendrick Clark as he looked for Brown.

On the very next play, Low Country called a reverse pass with Risher getting a pitch and launching the ball to wide receiver Jayden Gilliam from Hilton Head as they took a 14-13 and held it until the final whistle.

Coastal Empire had once more chance at a score but muffed and lost a punt with 2:25 left as they had no timeouts left.

Risher was named the game’s MVP following the game.

“I just love playing football so any chance I get to come out here and go play I can’t turn it down,” Richmond Hill safety Tommy Bliss said. “I had so much fun throughout the whole week just working with these guys. There’s so much talent on the field at any given moment. And getting to compete them all week made me better and made them better. So, I’m very grateful for the experience.”

Bliss will have a decision to make in February as he weighs his options from Division 1 programs Fordham, Mercer, and Marist.

“I’m looking forward to playing college ball,” Bliss said of the upcoming signing day. “I got a couple of schools in mind. I’m going to be taking a few visits pretty soon. I should have a destination figured out within the next month so I’m pretty excited about that.”

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