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For The Lancaster News
PAGELAND – The high-flying Central Eagles soared from the start on their way to a 40-0 Conference IV-AA home football win over Indian Land on Friday night.
The Eagles, 6-2, 3-0, struck in a hurry in building a 20-0 lead midway the first half.
Central owned a 26-0 lead at the end of the first period.
The Eagles set the tone on the opening kickoff as CHS kicker Joseph Rollings’ connected with more of the tee than the ball, but the alert Eagles recovered what amounted to an unintended onsides kick.
Two plays, Debias Tyson dashed 43 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead after Rollings converted the kick with 11:07 to play.
Tyson, a sophomore, had a big night for the Eagles, scoring three touchdowns on the night – all coming in the first quarter.
His second touchdown came on a one-yard run after Toby Miller’s 82-yard dash to set up the score with 8:12 to go in the first period for a 14-0 spread.
Tyson’s third touchdown came on another one-yard run with 56 seconds left in the opening period.
Tyson’s short scoring run capped a 66-yard drive in 11 plays for a 26-0 edge.
Prior to Tyson’s third touchdown, the Eagles struck through the air as quarterback Jalen Covington hit Quentin Wallace on a 40-yard touchdown pass in one play.
“For the third week in a row, we started off slow,” IL coach Mike Mayer said. “Central beat us on both sides of the football. They controlled the trenches.”
The Eagles final points of their potent first half came on Covington’s one-yard sneak with 47 seconds to play in the first half. The four-play scoring drive came after the Eagles’ defense held IL on a fourth-and-one at the Warriors’ 14.
While the Eagles were rolling in the first half, the CHS defense was also in control, holding IL ace senior quarterback Rondreas Truesdale to minus two yards. The Warriors had 10 yards total offense in the first half and one first down. Truesdale finished with a season low 37 yards on 11 carries.
Central wrapped up its scoring on the opening drive of the first half as the Eagles drove 70 yards, with Ryheem Lockhart going 12 yards for the touchdown.
Rollings added the extra point, his fifth on the night, to end the scoring.
Indian Land’s best drive of the night came in the final period when the Warriors drove 54 yards to the CHS 22, but the Braves held IL on downs.
“The slow start hurt us tonight,” Mayer said. “We have to find a way to start quicker and regain confidence.”
The Warriors hit the road Friday as they travel to Bishopville to face Lee Central. The Stallions, 4-4, 1-2, downed host Buford, 29-22 on Friday night.