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Bruins lone Classic victor

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By Robert Howey

INDIAN LAND – Lancaster High School came home the lone county winner in the fifth annual Kickoff Classic at Indian Land High School on Friday night.The Bruins, in their first visit to IL’s newly named “Reservation,” rolled to a 23-0 victory over the Warriors, who hosted the prep football jamboree for the first time.Andrew Jackson opened play, dropping a 21-7 loss to Class AAAA foe Fort Mill.Buford, battling Class AA foe Central, fell to the Eagles 14-0 in the middle period of play.LHS coach Bennie McMurray said the Bruins’ effort was easily their best showing of the preseason.“Football has three phases – offense, defense and the kicking game – and we played well in all three,” McMurray said. “We clicked on all cylinders.“We have to remember it was a scrimmage, but the key factor is that we came in here and played with enthusiasm and emotion,” McMurray said. “We have to come out of the gate like that each time we play.”LHS junior quarterback Matt Reese sparked the Bruins, running for 130 yards in 10 carries and throwing for 86 yards on 3-3 passing.Reese’s longest completion came on the first LHS score as Kendrick Thompson turned a sideline catch into an electrifying 62-yard scoring play and a 7-0 Bruins’ lead after senior kicker Anna Funderburk drilled the first of two extra points.The LHS defense, which held IL to 21 yards total offense, forced a punt on the Warriors’ next possession and Bruins’ senior Brion Strothers dashed 60 yards on the return for the touchdown for a 13-0 edge.Indian Land came back with its best threat on Karl Watson’s 57-yard kickoff return to the LHS 27. The Warriors moved to a first and goal at the LHS four, but the Bruins dug in and held on downs.Lancaster, using the deep stop, responded with a 96-yard drive for a third TD.Reese completed two passes for 24 yards and later had a 35-yard run to set up his one-yard scoring plunge for a 20-0 lead.Josh Page’s interception at the LHS 49 set up the Bruins’ final points as Lancaster drove to the IL seven where Funderburk came on to boot a 24-yard field goal. Reese’s 15-yard dash aided the Bruins’ drive.IL coach Mike Mayer wasn’t happy with the final score, but did note some bright spots.“I thought we played with more intensity tonight and didn’t drop our heads when things went bad,” Mayer said. “Our kids played hard and with better effort.”The Warriors’ top rusher was Tommy Groll, who had 13 yards on three carries. Breyon Williams added 12 yards on four gives. Tyler Watkins had one catch for six yards.LHS’s Wilric Waiters ran for nine yards on three carries and Zed Truesdale netted nine yards on four gives.Vols fall to Yellow JacketsAndrew Jackson launched jamboree play with a 21-7 loss to Fort Mill.The Yellow Jackets defense delivered in a big way, picking off four AJ passes and returning three for a touchdown.Josh Peck’s 21-yard interception return put FM up 7-0. On AJ’s next possession, Max Simmons picked off a pass and returned it 65 yards for a Jackets’ score for a 14-0 edge.The Yellow Jackets added a third defensive score as Jacob Scartozzi rambled 33 yards for a touchdown on an interception.The determined Vols kept battling and struck from long range, with Daniel Pardue hooking up with senior wide receiver Andrew Phillips on a 92-yard pass play. Tyler Dinkins added the conversion for a 21-7 game.Fort Mill had a couple of late threats, but the Vols turned them back. AJ junior linebacker Dylan McKittrick had a fumble recovery at the FM 13 to blunt one Jackets’ march, and the Vols held on downs after the Jackets had first-and-goal at the AJ seven.AJ coach Louis Clyburn took the blame for the four interceptions.“Those are on me,” Clyburn said. “It’s my fault.”He noted some AJ positives.“We had some players step up,” Clyburn said. “Our defense is playing consistent and I was pleased with our running backs. I thought our effort was good out there tonight.”Trent Flowers led the AJ rushing with 33 yards in 10 carries.Pardue was 6-9 for 160 yards and Darrian Henderson was 2-4 for 61 yards. Each quarterback threw two interceptions.Thomas McLaughlin had two catches for 41 yards and Justin Sellers two for 36 yards. Dylan Price had a grab for 19 yards and Daniel Wright one catch for nine yards.Eagles win over BufordIn the middle game, Central scored twice in the second period for its 14-0 win over Buford.The Eagles broke on top, capping a 63-yard drive with a Travis Rivers’ six-yard TD run. Rivers ran for 75 yards in eight carries.CHS went 59 yards for its second score, with Corky Clark, who ran for 78 yards, going in from two yards out. Michael Duong drilled his second conversion for a 14-0 lead.Lee Covington had an interception for the Eagles and Buford’s Jesse James recovered a fumble.“Central’s a good football team, but I felt we got after them,” BHS coach Mike Wells said. “Give me that kind of effort each Friday night and we will be fine. We’re getting better, but our execution has to improve,” he said.BHS’s Will Ford was 1-3 for three yards and Qua Reid had the catch.Brent McAteer ran for 14 yards in four carries, while Gavin Flynn had a nine-yard run and Andrew Jennings gained eight yards in three gives.