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Saturday brought a new day, but the blazing sun didn’t shine on the Lancaster Bruins.
Chester, in a comeback win, spoiled the Bruins’ 2011 home opener with a 21-12 victory at Memorial Stadium.
The game was played over two days after rain and lightning halted play at halftime on Friday night when Chester held a 14-6 lead.
Play resumed Saturday afternoon and Chester kept the upper hand for the nine-point win.
“It really was a frustrating day, much like some of our games last season,” LHS coach Bennie McMurray said. “We had our chances, but couldn’t finish. We didn’t get points when we needed them.”
Lancaster had three shots inside the red zone on the hot afternoon when two drives stalled, including a missed field goal.
The Bruins, as they did on Friday night, scored first Saturday as senior quarterback Shaq Williams, capping a 26-yard drive, scored on a five-yard run to close the gap to 14-12 in the third period.
“At that point, we’re back in the game, but we didn’t do what was needed to complete the job,” McMurray said. “The chances were there, but not the points.”
Williams, LHS’s all-purpose play, set up the Bruins’ second score with a 38-yard punt return.
Chester had an answer as the Cyclones, 2-1, drove 80 yards to regain control.
Cycs’ freshman quarterback Tommy Sanders whipped a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jamarcus Moore to give the visitors a 21-12 lead after Joey Ford drilled the third of his three extra points.
“I thought we were mentally tough today,” Chester coach Anthony Sterling said. “Our guys responded, coming back over here and playing in the heat. This was a good win for us.”
Chester sewed the seeds for victory Friday night when it was down 6-0, but responded with two lightning-quick scores late in the half.
The first came off a Bruins’ drive, with Lancaster moving the ball into Chester territory.
Williams, who ran for 131 yards in 32 carries, rushed into the line and was pushing forward for yardage and was seemingly down, but the Cycs stripped the ball and CHS linebacker Daryl Foster picked up the loose ball and dashed 46 yards for the score with 3:26 to play before the half. Ford’s extra point gave Chester the lead for good, 7-6.
The Cycs, after holding LHS on its next possession, forced a short punt to the Bruins’ 33. A snap later, Foster hit Quan Caldwell on a 33-yard TD pass for a 14-6 lead after Ford’s kick with 1:12 to play in the half. Caldwell had five catches for 78 yards.
“That sequence just before the half was big,” Sterling said. “We were able to gain the momentum and it served as a boost for us today.”
Lancaster, which moved the ball well throughout both halves, but couldn’t respond when needed, out gained Chester 326-240.
The Bruins broke on top, driving 83 yards in 14 plays and faced a fourth and short at the fourth after Chester was offsides on a field goal try. LHS elected to go for the touchdown and Williams responded with a four-yard keeper for the score. Arnold Roman missed on the extra point, leaving LHS up, 6-0 with 8:12 left in the second period.
The game stayed that way until Chester scored on both sides of the ball to take control late in the first half just before the storm arrived.
“Give Chester credit,” McMurray said. “They came to play and we didn’t.
“We had too many chances in the red zone and didn’t put it away,” McMurray said. “We felt good coming back here today to hopefully complete the job and answer the challenge, but we didn’t deliver in a frustrating day.”
Williams led the LHS rushing attack with 131 yards in 32 carries. Roy Watts had 30 yards in four carries. Terrell White ran for 10 yards in three carries. Williams was 10 of 18 for 142 yards and two interceptions.
Michael Cooper was 1-1 passing for 18 yards.
C.D. Pelham had three catches for 21 yards. KeAnthony Foster had two catches for 25 yards. Kaderrious Jackson had a catch for 49 yards and Immanuel Ishmael had a catch for 22 yards.
Lancaster, 1-1, is home Friday night when the Bruins face county rival Buford, which rebounded for a 49-8 road win over McBee on Friday night to even its mark at 1-1.
u The Lancaster High B-team evened its mark at 1-1 with William Jackson scoring two touchdowns in the 14-0 win over Central.
Jay Hood tallied on the two-point conversion.
The Bruins B-team scored twice in the second half to snap a scoreless tie.
In the junior varsity game, Chester took a 28-0 win over the Junior Bruins.