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Bruins, Red Devils tie; Falcons blank Warriors

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By Robert Howey

ROCK HILL – Lancaster High’s defense has been the Bruins’ bright spot in the preseason.On Saturday, the LHS defense delivered late to give the Bruins a scoreless tie with Class A foe Great Falls in the Herald Jamboree at District Three Stadium.GFHS, the Class A Division II state runner-up last season, mounted a last-ditch drive to the Bruins’ 12 where the drive stalled.On fourth-down, Red Devils’ quarterback Gaither Bumgardner, who had engineered the drive, came on to try a 29-yard field goal, but the line-drive attempt was blocked by LHS’s Ben Caskey to keep the game scoreless.“Our defense was in a tough situation at the end and Great Falls went for the win, but we were able to get enough pressure and block the kick,” LHS coach Bennie McMurray said. “Great Falls did a good job of moving the ball, but we had just enough to hold them out.“That was the plus, but overall, it wasn’t a good day for us,” McMurray said. “We’re still not consistent  on offense. We have a good play, but then give up a sack or have a penalty. We need to be more fluid and keep an offensive rhythm. That’s a steady flow of mixing the pass and run.”LHS was able to drive to the GFHS 22, but a delay penalty and back-to-back sacks foiled the Bruins.LHS quarterback Matt Reese keyed the drive with an 18-yard run.Great Falls took over and drove to the LHS 12 where it went for the win, but missed.“As a team, which means all of our units – offense, defense and special teams – we have to play better,” McMurray said. “Great Falls has a strong football program and it was a test, but our schedule is only going to get tougher. We have to pick it up and be productive in all phases of football.“This was a measuring stick, but it also tells me we need to work hard over the next two weeks to be prepared.”Lancaster plays in the Founders Kickoff Classic on Friday at Indian Land where the Bruins battle the Warriors at 8:30 p.m.Warriors fallIndian Land High School head coach Mike Mayer wasn’t happy with what the scoreboard said, but that wasn’t his main concern Saturday afternoon at the annual Herald Football Jamboree in Rock Hill’s District Three Stadium.Nation Ford of Fort Mill, a Class AAAA school, rolled to a 28-0 win over the Warriors in the opening period.“I was disappointed with the outcome because we need some early success,” Mayer said. “Each time we go out, we want to win, but success in a jamboree isn’t our greatest concern.“What was the greatest concern came in two areas,” Mayer said. “One, we’re a better football team than we showed here today. We’ve played better in our two scrimmages.“The other area was something we have to overcome,” Mayer said. “When we got down and had a little adversity, some, not all, but some of our guys dropped their heads.“When things go bad and that’s going to happen, we have to keep fighting,” he said. “We have to overcome that.”Nation Ford, in its second year of football, broke on top late in the first period as Tony Hall tallied on a six-yard run for the Falcons.NFHS exploded in the second period when the Falcons tallied three times.Early in the second period, NFHS quarterback Joey White connected with Dee Truesdale on a 53-yard touchdown pass.Nation Ford struck again on IL’s next possession as Justen Lane picked off a pass and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown.“We got hit with a big play and then had a turnover returned for a score and some of our guys tossed in the towel,” Mayer said.The Falcons’ final score came on a fourth-down and goal snap, with Lane snagging a two-yard pass from Thomas Condron.NFHS had driven to the IL one, but the Falcons were pushed back before netting six.“I hate we gave up that score, but we showed some spunk at the goal line,” Mayer said. “That told me there was still some fight left in our guys. We were close to holding them there, but they were able to score.”Indian Land moved the ball well early on, but couldn’t sustain it.“We just need to be a little more consistent,” Mayer said. “That means run harder, hold our blocks longer and execute better.”Indian Land returns to jamboree play Friday when the Warriors host the annual Founder Kickoff Classic. IL meets county rival Lancaster in the 8:30 p.m. nightcap.Play opens with AJ facing Nation Ford at 6:30. Buford battles Central of Pageland at 7:30.