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Inspired road Warriors tame Panthers for 14-6 road win

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By Eric Rowell

McBEE – The 2008 Indian Land High School football team has been true road Warriors this season.Friday night, an inspired Warrior team notched its third win away from home, downing Conference III-A foe McBee High School, 14-6 at the Panthers’ field.The emotional eight-point win came without Indian Land head coach Mike Mayer on the sidelines. Mayer was unable to be at the game as he was with his mother who had a stroke.“We had a lot of players play major roles in this win tonight,” said IL assistant coach David Sweem, who led the Warriors in Mayer’s absence. “We played hard and played team ball.“Our players played hard for coach Mayer,” Sweem said. “We have him in our thoughts and prayers.”The Warriors determined play was pivotal in the late stages with a pair of clutch stands against the Panthers, who had the scoring threats thwarted.One stand came when IL held on downs, and another was with a Justin Gordon end-zone interception on a key third-and-20 play at the IL 38.McBee, in its ball-control wishbone offense, drew first blood in the game as the Panthers went up 6-0 on Greg McDonald’s 15-yard run on a third-and-one snap with 10:13 to play in the second period.Indian Land, 3-4, 2-1, responded on its next possession as the Warriors drove 65 yards, with Karl Watson capping the drive on a one-yard run. Watson tacked on the two-point conversion to put IL ahead for good, 8-6 with 7:38 to play in the first half.The Warriors opened the second half with a pivotal 13-play, 73-yard drive, with senior fullback Chad Carlton scoring on a seven-yard run on a first-and-goal snap.“We came out and made a statement with that drive,” Sweem said. “That drive gave us the momentum to finish the game.”The drive, which consumed eight minutes off the clock, was sparked by a pair of clutch fourth-down conversions.Warriors junior Ted Boston delivered twice, once on a fake punt when he took a direct snap and ran for the first down to keep the drive alive. Later, on a fourth and four at the MHS 37, Boston, who ran for 20 yards in two carries, had a crucial 16-yard dash to the MHS 21.Carlton capped the march with his seven-yard scoring sprint.Sweem also saluted the play of Deon Sayles who had a big second half, which included a 58-yard scamper deep into McBee territory.“We had a lot of heroes tonight and I think they all wanted to do something to give coach Mayer a lift in his family situation. It’s a tough time for him,” Sweem said. “The big key was that we did a good job of controlling the ball and keeping it out of their hands. We executed our offense real well. Our defense did the job, too.“McBee scored 62 points last week and we held them to six, none in the second half tonight.”Indian Land hits the road again Friday as the Warriors travel to Lewisville to face the Lions, who dropped a 34-0 loss to Chesterfield. The Lions are 4-3, 2-1 in region play.