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LHS faces toughness fray

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By Robert Howey

Lancaster seeks to remain unbeaten, while Andrew Jackson looks to get even. Buford and Indian Land will be shooting to get back on track.Week four in the county high school football schedule finds a mixed bag of situations as teams head to play Friday night.Lancaster, 3-0, will continue its three-week road trip with a journey to York Comprehensive High School.AJ, 1-2, takes the bus to the Panhandle for a county clash with 1-2 Indian Land in the Warriors’ annual homecoming game.Buford, 2-1, also has a road game as the Jackets venture to Chesterfield to face the unbeaten Rams.Lancaster High coach Bennie McMurray, who has LHS off to its best start in his three seasons leading the Bruins, said the game with York will be a battle of toughness.“York doesn’t get fancy out there,” McMurray said of the Bruins’ battle with the Cougars. “It will be hard-nosed, smash-mouth football.“They play power football,” he said of the 2-1 Cougars, who dropped a 26-14 loss to Boiling Springs last week.McMurray said he’s pleased with the Bruins’ start, but they must focus on reducing their penalties.“Over the last two weeks, we’ve averaged 100 yards in penalties and we have to make drastic improvement there,” McMurray said. “In a close game where every yard is crucial, we have to be mindful of those situations.“It just comes down to playing smart football and not shooting ourselves in the foot,” he said.AJ and Indian Land will be seeking to even their marks when they meet at IL’s “Reservation.”IL coach Mike Mayer said stopping the Vols starts with AJ veteran quarterback Daniel Pardue.“Pardue is the leader of their offense, so we need to do a good job of containing him,” Mayer said. “He’s going to get his yards as you can’t totally shut him down, but we really need to keep him in check.“AJ throws the ball well and Pardue is a veteran who runs their offense real well,” Mayer said. “On offense, we really need to pick it up and be productive. Our punter did an outstanding job last week, but we need to be more efficient on offense.”AJ coach Louis Clyburn called the Warriors a “well-coached team.”“We need to be ready to play because Indian Land reminds me of Buford,” he said. “They play fundamental football and do a good job of it.”Clyburn noted several keys for the Warriors.“We have to continue to tackle well and we have to do a good job of having takeaways,” he said. “That made a big difference last week in our win over North Central.“We’re making strides, but we also need to run the football better,” Clyburn said.Buford, 2-1, has a tall order in tackling unbeaten Chesterfield, which is coming off a 21-17 win over Class AA foe Cheraw High School.“Chesterfield’s skill people are very fast and on defense, they’re not real big, but they’re quick,” Buford coach Mike Wells said. “We need our offense to execute and control the football.“We have to have a solid game on offense and keep it away from them,” Wells said. “We also have to protect the ball and not give them any easy scoring chances.“We’re playing hard and giving good effort, but we need to play a complete football game and try to keep their offense off the field.”