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Bruins seek to rebound

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By Robert Howey

Lancaster High School head football coach Bennie McMurray is hoping for a little deja vu as he looks to Friday night.McMurray, recalling the Bruins’ response to their first loss this season, is hoping for a similar answer following LHS’s second setback this fall.Lancaster, after falling to Northwestern 27-7 for its first defeat this season, rebounded to throttle Nation Ford 30-0 at home.“This time, it’s different,” McMurray said. “We’re on the road and we face a team which is playing pretty good football. It will be a challenge.”The Bruins aren’t the lone Lancaster County team in the Midlands on Friday night.Andrew Jackson, in Conference IV-AA play, returns to Columbia to meet the Columbia High Capitals.Buford, the lone county team at home this week, is shooting for a happy homecoming as the Jackets entertain McBee in Conference III-A play.Indian Land has a short bus trip as the Warriors travel to Richburg to battle the Lewisville Lions in Conference III-A play.All games are slated to kick off at 7:30 p.m.Lancaster, 5-2, 0-1, is hoping to even its region mark.“Blythewood will be a test for our team, but we need to get back on track in order to get our goals in line with what we want to accomplish,” McMurray said. “After we lost to Northwestern early in the season, we faced a Nation Ford team which was struggling somewhat, but Blythewood is hardly struggling at this point.“They dropped their first two games, but are rolling with four straight wins,” he said. “They’re on a streak and they probably see our score with South Point and  feel we’re not playing as well.“Blythewood is a good football team with good athletes and they know how to win,” McMurray said. “We have to refocus and concentrate on what’s at stake. As we always say, we have to play well in all three phases – offense, defense and special teams.”Andrew Jackson coach Louis Clyburn said the Vols will again face a team which is playing well.“Columbia is coming off a big win on Monday over Eau Claire, so they have some momentum going into the game,” Clyburn said. “Columbia has lost some good players to injuries, but they’re still a good football team.“The key for is to avoid mistakes and be sound,” he said. “We had some crucial turnovers last week at key points in the game and we really have to eliminate those.“When you make mistakes against a good football team, it will come back to haunt you,” Clyburn said. “I thought our players did a good job last week of fighting back and showing some spunk, but our mistakes put us in a hole which was just too much to overcome. The big key is to not get in a hole with turnovers and errors.“We just have to execute. The season is moving on and we have to produce if we want to extend our season.”Buford coach Mike Wells said the Jackets need another solid effort this week.“I know it’s homecoming and sometimes you tend to concentrate on other aspects of the week, but we have to zero in on what we have to do. McBee, like us, is fighting for a playoff bid, so they’re going to come out ready to battle us hard.”Wells said the Panthers have a solid runner in speedy Justin Bristow.“He can go the distance with his speed,” Wells said. “We really have to contain the run and keep the ball away from him as much as possible. That means our offense must be productive and move the chains and put points on the board. We have to protect the football and do a good job of getting people to the ball.”Indian Land coach Mike Mayer said the Warriors want to build on their success at McBee.“We did a good job of containing the run and that’s another challenge for us in stopping the Johnson boys, Isaiah and Elijah,” Mayer said. “Those guys are big-play people who can hurt us no matter where the football is snapped. We have to do a good job of keeping them in check.“At the same time, it’s important to be productive with our offense,” Mayer said. “We had some people step up in a big way last week, and we have to have a duplicate effort this Friday.”