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Devils ignite to blank Warriors

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By Eric Rowell

GREAT FALLS – Great Falls blanked Indian Land 34-0 to end the Warriors’ season on a down note.The Warriors held Great Falls to only a touchdown in the opening period, but the Red Devils ignited for 27 second-quarter points on the way to the Conference III-A shutout victory.Great Falls, 7-3, 4-1, opened the scoring on its first possession.The Red Devils’ A.J. Squirewell scored on a 39-yard run on a fourth and one to give GFHS a 7-0 lead after Gaither Bumgardner connected on the extra point with 8:11 to play in the first period.The Warriors were unable to move the ball in the second quarter. The Indian Land defense stepped up big when the Warriors held Great Falls on a fourth and 11 as IL’s Justin Gordon batted down a pass to snuff the Red Devils’ threat.The disastrous second quarter for Indian Land started after a 75-yard drive which saw Great Falls’ Terrance Jeter tally on a six-yard run on a second-and-goal snap. Bumgardner came on to drill the extra point for a 14-0 lead with 9:45 to play in the second period.Two consecutive fumbles on Great Falls’ kickoffs resulted in 14 more points for the Red Devils.Indian Land fumbled the kickoff at its seven-yard line and Great Falls scored a play later on a pass from Bumgardner to Terrell Hutchinson in the left corner of the end zone. Bumgardner added the conversion for a 21-0 lead at the 9:31 mark of the second period.The ensuing kickoff was a squib kick, which the Warriors were unable to handle and Great Falls recovered at the Indian Land 26.Great Falls reached the end zone in one play as Walter Lamar bolted 26 yards for the touchdown. Bumgardner’s extra point extended the Red Devils’ lead to 28-0.“We really made it easy for them,” IL coach Mike Mayer said. “We knew we couldn’t make turnovers and make it real easy for them.“That second quarter killed us,” Mayer said. “The two turnovers on special teams put us deep in a hole. We played three good quarters of football. That second quarter was just the back breaker.”Great Falls started its final scoring drive on the half at its 41 and marched to the IL one. Jeter scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard run for a 34-0 lead with 3:30 to play in the first half.In the second half, Indian Land blanked the Red Devils, forcing three turnovers.Bryon Williams picked off a pass and Dimitry Anthony and Keyadd Miller each had a fumble recovery for IL.“Our offense was able to move the ball better in the second half, but penalties continued to hurt us,” Mayer said. “We just couldn’t get into a rhythm.”The Warriors, with the loss, finished 3-7, 2-4.“It was disappointing because over the last three weeks we needed one win to secure a playoff bid, but we couldn’t do it,” Mayer said. “We have a good nucleus of players coming back and they gained a great deal of experience this season.“We have to remember how it felt tonight and work hard to not have that same feeling this time next season,” Mayer said.