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CHESTER – Lancaster High School head football coach Bennie McMurray saw his Bruins finish on the short of the final score, but the LHS veteran coach was far from pushing the panic button.
LHS saw Fairfield Central rally from an early 7-0 deficit to take a 20-9 comeback win over the Bruins on Friday night in the Chester Jamboree at Chester High School.
“We look at this as a practice,” McMurray said. “You don’t get too excited in the preseason. The big factor was that the coaches weren’t on the field, but on the sidelines.
“It was our first time under a game-type situation and I thought we did decent,” McMurray said. “We’re playing so many new faces. This helps us prepare for the regular season.”
Lancaster had a solid start in the jamboree, taking advantage of a blocked punt by Daquaron Bell at the Fairfield Central 23.
Seven plays later, Bruins’ senior quarterback Shaq Williams whipped a 14-yard touchdown pass to C.D. Pelham. Arnold Romero added the conversion for a 7-0 LHS lead with 8:24 to play in the opening period.
The Griffins answered in a hurry, going 62 yards for their first score, which was capped by Najawon McKinstry’s 21-yard touchdown run.
He added the conversion to deadlock the game.
The Griffins took the lead for good on a 47-yard drive, with McKinstry dashing 11 yards for the score and a 14-7 edge.
Fairfield Central’s third score came on a one-yard run by Damien Bell. A bad snap on the conversion forced the Griffins to go for two, but the pass fell incomplete.
Lancaster’s final points came on a safety when the Griffins, punting deep in their territory, had the long snap sail over the punter’s head and through the end zone.
“We’re not disappointed,” McMurray said. “This is a building process. I didn’t expect us to come here and completely dominate. It’s early in the season and I know there are some kinks to work out. That’s what jamborees are for. We wanted to play well, but it’s a practice game.
“Areas where we need to get better are in our tackling because we missed too many open-field tackles,” he said. “We also have to work on our conditioning.”
Blythewood followed Lancaster and rolled to a 30-7 win over host Chester.
The quick-striking Bengals bolted to a 20-0 lead and cruised to the 23-point win.
Great Falls notched a pair of wins, topping Chester County Class A rival Lewisville, 13-7 and Westminster Catawba, 18-6.
In GFHS’s 12-point win over the Indians, Shaquille Simpson scooted 51 yards for a TD and the Red Devils’ defense delivered two scores on pick six plays from D.C. Caldwell (97 yards) and David Jeter (35 yards).
The Red Devils defeated the Lions, 13-7. Simpson scored on a short run and Jake Payseur raced 62 yards for a TD. The Lions struck on a 14-yard pass from Tony Gaston to Myah Walls.
W-C topped Lewisville, 19-6 as Lions’ quarterback Tony Gaston tallied on a 28-yard dash for the Lions’ lone score.
Lancaster had a quick turnaround for its second jamboree action, playing in the Battle on the Border Jamboree at Fort Mill High School where the Bruins battled Myers Park of Charlotte on Saturday.
“With some game-type experience in Chester, it should help us at Fort Mill,” McMurray said.
The game was completed after The News’ deadline for Sunday. See the Wednesday paper for a complete report on the action, which included Indian Land’s clash with Harding of Charlotte.
Lancaster caps jamboree play Friday in the annual Founders Kickoff Classic at Andrew Jackson High School.
Each county school has tickets at their school for $5. Tickets at the gate are $6. Funds raised through pre-event sales at the school go to the respective school.
“There’s two pluses in buying the tickets at the school,” said LHS athletic director Mark Strickland. “One, the money goes to the school, and two, you have your ticket and you can go right in the scrimmage and avoid waiting in line Friday night.”
The Bruins face Indian Land to open the Founders Kickoff Classic at 5:30 p.m. Buford meets Great Falls at 6:30 p.m. The 7:30 p.m. clash has Northern Guilford High, led by former LHS head coach Johnny Roscoe, facing Central of Pageland. In the 8:30 contest, Northern Guilford meets Fort Mill. The final action has host AJ meeting McBee at 9:30.