In­dian Land gets its first foot­ball state play­off win

The Herald (Rock Hill) - - Sports - BY BY BRIAN WILMER Spe­cial to The Her­ald

A lot can hap­pen in 13 years. A sim­ple drive down 521 in In­dian Land says that much.

The 13 years be­tween post­sea­son vic­to­ries for In­dian Land High School, how­ever, faded away in the span of 48 min­utes Thurs­day night at The Reser­va­tion.

Jiquese Tins­ley tal­lied two long touch­down scam­pers, while the vaunted In­dian Land de­fense con­tin­ued its stingy ways, giv­ing the War­riors a 2914, first-round play­off vic­tory over Cres­cent Thurs­day night.

“(It) was just fight, ef­fort,” said In­dian Land coach Ho­ra­tio Blades of the key to his team’s vic­tory. “Cres­cent came out and punched us in the face, as far as ef­fort goes. Some­times, it’s just an ef­fort game. Week in and week out, you’ve gotta fight for your wins.”

In­dian Land (6-5) got on the board just over a minute into its first pos­ses­sion of the game. Tins­ley took the third play of the open­ing drive 64 yards vir­tu­ally un­touched to the house, putting the War­riors ahead 6-0. Both de­fenses then clamped down for much of the first half, forc­ing stops on the next eight pos­ses­sions.

Cres­cent (6-5) jumped ahead with just over four min­utes re­main­ing in the first half. The Tigers blocked an In­dian Land punt, giv­ing the vis­i­tors the ball at the Warrior 25. In­dian Land slowed Cres­cent on the first three plays of the drive, but a fourth-down pass from Moses Kemp found Clay Re­brick over the mid­dle in the end zone, putting the Tigers ahead, 7-6.

That Cres­cent lead held un­til the in­ter­val. In­dian Land re­ceived the ball to start the sec­ond half, and needed just two plays to go 65 yards and re­gain the lead on Tins­ley’s sec­ond long touch­down run of the night.

In­dian Land stopped Cres­cent on its first three pos­ses­sions of the sec­ond half, then went on a seven-play drive capped by a one-yard Greyson Bar­ber sneak to ex­tend the home side’s lead to 19-7. Jaquan Snellings then jumped a third-down route on the en­su­ing Tiger drive, tak­ing a 30-yard in­ter­cep­tion re­turn to the paint and ex­tend­ing the In­dian Land lead to 26-7. Kemp again con­nected with Re­brick on a late touch­down throw to bring the Tigers closer, but the die had been cast on a Warrior vic­tory.

TURN­ING POINT

Tins­ley’s sec­ond touch­down run came just two plays into the sec­ond half, quickly seiz­ing back the mo­men­tum for the home club. Blades chal­lenged his club at the half and re­minded them of what was at stake. The se­nior’s 51-yard run helped to turn the tide, ac­cord­ing to his coach.

“It was huge for mo­men­tum,” said Blades of the run. “They came out, and they showed that they wanted to still play.”

CRIT­I­CAL

The In­dian Land de­fense played a huge role in its re­gion suc­cess, lim­it­ing Re­gion 4-3A foes to just 33 com­bined points. That de­fense paid div­i­dends for the War­riors again Fri­day, forc­ing eight Cres­cent punts on 14 pos­ses­sions and in­ter­cept­ing two Tiger throws. In­dian Land held Cres­cent un­der 120 yards for the game.

“De­fen­sively, over­all, I think we did an okay job,” said Blades. “We have a re­ally good de­fense, and we haven’t even played our best foot­ball yet. That’s what’s scary about it.”

STAR CON­TRIB­U­TORS

Tins­ley car­ried the load for a Warrior rush­ing at­tack that cracked the 200-yard bar­rier. Tins­ley ran 25 times for 192 yards and two scores, help­ing to grind out a vic­tory for his club. Bar­ber con­nected on 10 of 16 throws for 104 yards, adding a rush­ing touch­down. Snellings’ pick-six punc­tu­ated a Warrior aerial de­fense that lim­ited Cres­cent to just 7-of-21 pass­ing.

Kemp and Re­brick con­nected twice for Cres­cent touch­downs, pro­vid­ing the Tigers’ tal­lies.

ON DECK

In­dian Land will travel to Union County for a sec­ond-round play­off matchup. That game will take place next Fri­day night at 7:30. Cres­cent’s sea­son con­cludes at 6-5.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.