Coaches always preach the importance of all three phases of the game, and it has never been truer than Friday night for the York Cougars at Indian Land High School.
In the first half alone, the visitors from York recorded an interception, two fumble recoveries, two baskets, a blocked punt and an 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.
It all led to a 19-7 halftime lead, and the Cougars resisted a frenzied fourth-quarter return attempt to hand the Warriors their first loss in the new reservation and their first loss of Season 19. -13.
“They were an undefeated team, and it’s tough to get into a position and play an undefeated team when they haven’t lost on this ground yet,” said York coach Dean Boyd. “Our special teams and our defense really played tonight. We’re just gonna get these guys on the bus and party on the way home. It means a lot to get the region’s first victory.
York has won three straight road games and is also 4-1 as it hosts Catawba Ridge next week.
Indian Land reduced the lead to 19-13 with 5:58 to go on a 6-yard run from Myles Stinson, who carried the run four in a row for 63 yards, including a 38-yard rush on the fourth. and-2.
The Warriors recovered the ball with less than a minute to play and 73 yards to go to win the game. An interference penalty and a 32-yard pass immediately saw the Warriors score at York 26.
Indian Land threw an incomplete pitch on the first down, completed an 8-yard pass on the second down and sacked on the third down. With the countdown under 20 seconds and no timeouts remaining, the Warriors lost track of what was happening and Blake Goode spiked the ball to stop the clock.
Unfortunately for the home team, it was the fourth loss and it ended the game.
RJ Glassgow came up with an interception for the Cougars in the game’s first possession to set up a 28-yard field goal by Zayne Beardsley.
On the next possession of Indian lands, the Warriors were forced to kick and, after a high snap, the punt was blocked by Javarus Guthrie. After an open touchdown in the end zone, Beardsley posted another basket, this time on 26 yards, to make it 6-0.
Indian Land took their only lead with 5:33 left in the first half when Goode hit Drew Hardin on the heels of the home sideline for a 58-yard touchdown pass. Hardin had five catches for 96 yards for the Warriors.
The lead was short lived as Zy Brown took the kickoff from 85 yards to put York back 12-7 after a failed two-point conversion. On the next kick-off, the Warriors fumbled and the Cougars converted that to a 3-yard touchdown taken by quarterback Ayden Davis for the halftime advantage.
Jaden Peoples had an interception for Indian Land in the third quarter.