Panthers claw back in road victory over IL Warriors

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McBee takes 28-21 win

By Eric Rowell


INDIAN LAND – The Indian Land Warriors gave the visiting McBee Panthers a win on their home field Friday night, Sept. 27.

McBee turned two of Indian Land’s three turnovers into 14 points to take a 28-21 victory at the IL Reservation.

The Warriors looked to have overtime in sight for the second straight game with the ball on McBee’s 35 and only two minutes left, but fate wouldn’t have it.

The Panthers’ defense forced three George Morris incompletions and sacked Morris on fourth down to seal the game.

Indian Land jumped to an early 13-0 lead and looked to be in the driver’s seat.

The Panthers roared back with 21 unanswered points to set the tone for the game.

Indian Land had control early after the defense recovered a fumble on the game’s second play.

The Warriors’ offense went to work at McBee’s 24. IL couldn’t move the ball, but Shea Rodgers connected on a 31-yard field goal to give Indian Land the early 3-0 lead.

The Warriors’ next possession started at McBee’s 27 and in six plays, the Warriors were in the end zone on Morris’ one-yard TD run.

Rodgers’ kick with 5:28 to go in the first quarter gave IL a 10-0 lead.

Indian Land followed that possession with another scoring drive that started at its 28.

Rodgers drilled a 25-yard field goal after the Warriors drive stalled on fourth down at the MHS eight for a 13-0 lead with 11:49 left in the second quarter.

“We moved the ball very effectively between the 20s, but we just didn’t get it in the end zone enough times,” Indian Land coach Mike Mayer said.

McBee went to work on its next possession, moving the ball 70 yards in eight plays and capping the drive with a 14-yard run by Zach Roary. Zach Middleton added the kick and Indian Land’s lead was cut to 13-7 with 6:30 left before half.  

McBee’s defense forced Indian Land’s first turnover on its next possession when Bernard Robinson intercepted a Morris pass at IL’s 41.

In three plays, quarterback Jordan Fair hit Nyaun Pate on a 41-yard TD pass. Middleton’s kick gave McBee a 14-13 lead.

‘We simply made too many mistakes,” Mayer said. “Our defense, at times, looked like a stone wall out there, but we gave up too many big plays.”

Indian Land looked to take the lead going into the half, but Rodgers’ 24-yard field goal was blocked as time expired.

McBee extended its lead on a two-yard TD run by Roary, his second of the game. Middleton added the kick and the Panthers led, 21-13 with 1:53 left in the third quarter.

Indian Land’s offense got back in gear, piecing a four-play, 53-yard drive capped by Morris’ 39-yard TD pass to Manny McCord.

Morris hit McCord on the two-point conversion to knot the game at 21.

“Our offensive line played better tonight. Derries (Hampton) was a step or two from making a big play.  He ran the ball well for us,” Mayer said. “We have had the opportunities and they just keep slipping away.”

McBee finished the scoring on a 36-yard run by Qodarius Holloman. Middleton’s kick with 10:14 left gave McBee a 28-21 lead.

“Their defense did a good job of keeping us from making any big plays,” Mayer said.  “It’s going to be a tough road game next week We have to get it in out minds that we have to play every play of every quarter.”

Indian Land travels to Cheraw High School to face the Braves, 1-4 after a 41-6 loss to Fairfield Central High of Winnsboro.