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FORT MILL – The most dominating force at the annual Battle of the Border Jamboree at Fort Mill High School’s Bob Jones Stadium on Saturday was a fierce female – Mother Nature.
A powerful late afternoon thunderstorm – lightning and heavy rain – forced jamboree officials to cancel the majority of the action pitting Palmetto State prep teams against their North Carolina counterparts.
Only one preseason game was completed as Harding University High School rallied for a 16-7 win over Indian Land High School.
Just before heavenly fireworks arrived, the Lancaster High School Bruins produced a gridiron lightning bolt.
After the Myers Park High School Mustangs took a 3-0 lead on Lucas Tcherkezian’s 28-yard field goal, the Bruins answered in a flash.
LHS sophomore Rashaun “Doopy” Cloud took the ensuing kickoff 95 yards to give the Bruins a 6-3 lead.
“Cloud has that kind of speed,” said Lancaster High School football coach LHS coach Bennie McMurray. “He gave us a lift with his feet.
“That’s the key in a jamboree like this,” McMurray said. “It gives you a chance to work on your kicking game, but just as we saw one positive with Cloud’s return, we also saw a negative. A high snap on the extra point forced our holder to have to scramble for the end zone and he was stopped short. “
The Mustangs were driving at midfield when the game was halted with lightning in the area which soon came with drenching rain.
“I wish we could have continued to play,” McMurray said. “Myers Park is a good test and we needed more game-type experience for our younger guys.”
The Bruins hosted a five-way scrimmage Tuesday with Fort Mill, Central of Pageland, Country Day and Providence Day.
Indian Land was able to complete its half of play, but football coach Mike Mayer wasn’t pleased with the nine-point Warriors’ loss.
“We can play better and we have to play better,” Mayer said. “”We didn’t have our best game. We didn’t execute like we should.”
The Warriors, paced by ace senior quarterback Rondreas Truesdale, broke on top as he dashed 47 yards on an option keeper with 7:20 to play in the first period.
Chad Thomas added the conversion for a 7-0 lead.
Truesdale ran for 114 yards, including 99 yards in the opening period.
The Warriors moved the ball well, but only produced seven points.
The Rams began to battle back in the second period when they recovered a muffed punt at the IL 22.
Three plays later, Harding quarterback Deontre Oliver flipped a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Reggie McNeal.
On the conversion, Shaun Wilson swept in for two points and an 8-7 lead with 9:33 to play.
The Warriors responded with a drive to the Rams’ 16 yard line, where the march stalled. Mayer summoned Thomas for a 33-yard field goal, which sailed left with 2:48 to play.
The Rams then sealed the win with a two-play 80-yard drive. Wilson dashed 51 yards on the first snap to the IL 29.
A snap later, Willie Miller bolted 29 yards on a sweep for six points. Wilson tacked on the conversion run for the 16-7 win.
“We have some puppies and once they realized they had ability, they responded,” said Harding coach Deveron Harper.
A dejected Mayer said the Warriors didn’t help themselves.
“We can’t have three turnovers in a half and that many penalties,” Mayer said. “We moved the ball up and down the field, but that doesn’t count. We have to get it in the end zone.
“I thought we looked tired,” Mayer said. “We have to keep working. We’re a better team than we showed today, but we have to go out and prove it.”
The Warriors faced the Great Falls High School Red Devils in a Tuesday scrimmage.
Andrew Jackson, Buford, Indian Land and Lancaster will be back in action Friday when the Vols host the annual Founders Kickoff Classic at 5:30 p.m.
Other teams include Central of Pageland, Fort Mill, Great Falls, McBee and Northern Guilford, led by former LHS football coach Johnny Roscoe.