INDIAN LAND — Having steamrolled its competition over the past few weeks, Indian Land found itself in an unfamiliar position against region rival Andrew Jackson midway through the second quarter on Friday.
But led by a spectacular performance by quarterback Rondreas Truesdale, the Warriors overcame a 17 point deficit in a back-and-forth game against the Volunteers to win 42-33.
The win improved the Warriors to 6-0 on the season, and 1-0 in region play.
"It shows we're never out of the game despite falling behind," said head coach Mike Mayer. "These kids go as hard as they can on every down, and each one wants to be the player that makes the game-changing play. They're a terrific team that works their tail off to do exactly what they did out there tonight, which is battle."
Andrew Jackson used deceptive play-calling on both sides of the ball, and its stifling run defense nearly did the unthinkable - halt Indian Land's rushing attack.
In the first quarter, Truesdale and running back Trey Eaves were held to a combined six yards rushing, and the Warriors offense didn't notch a first down until the 8:30 mark in the second quarter.
Stacking eight men at the line of scrimmage, the Volunteers dared Indian Land to pass the ball, often making Truesdale roll outside of the pocket and force throws, prompting the Warriors to abandon their rush-heavy offensive style.
Despite a shaky first quarter, Indian Land never abandoned its running game, and it finally began to wear on Andrew Jackson, with Truesdale notching 87 of his 92 first-half rushing yards in the second quarter to make the score 17-14 at halftime.
Truesdale took the team on his back in the third quarter, showcasing his game-breaking ability on both sides of the ball that has spelled success for the Warriors all season. A six-minute third-quarter drive to start the quarter led to a 2-yard touchdown run by Truesdale, and on the next series, Truesdale intercepted a pass by Andrew Jackson quarterback Ryan Phillips, subsequently returning the ball 34 yards for a touchdown. Truesdale finished the game with 242 rushing yards.
Andrew Jackson didn't fade, however, as the gutsy play of freshman quarterback Kolby Whitley brought the Volunteers back within two points as he connected with multi-purpose offensive weapon Gavin Clyburn for touchdown catches of 5 and 15 yards.
But Indian Land defensive lineman Marc Morris provided the interior presence down the stretch to halt two key late fourth quarter drives, and a 44 yard TD run by Truesdale on a crucial 4th and inches iced the game for Indian Land.
Indian Land will travel to Cheraw next week in its second region game of the season.