CHERAW — An emotional week for the Indian Land Warriors culminated in their first loss of the season Friday night.
After attending the visitation for former Warrior wrestling coach Mike Kersey, the team traveled to play region rival Cheraw. Kersey, a physical education coach at Indian Land Elementary, died Tuesday from injuries he suffered last weekend in an ATV accident.
The Warriors fell behind during a sluggish first half but mounted a rally in the second that fell short, 28-20.
Warrior Head Coach Mike Mayer, whose team fell to 6-1, said the adversity will make Indian Land stronger.
"It's been one of those weeks where it's been hard to focus, but that's just an excuse," Mayer said. "We're all a little frustrated that we didn't win, but we didn't turn on each other in the face of defeat, and we will come out of this game a better team."
Cheraw's strategy for the evening was simple: halt Indian Land's big play ability and keep the offense led by game breaker Rondreas Truesdale off the field. Despite allowing Truesdale to rush for 236 yards on 23 carries, Cheraw was successful.
In the first half, Cheraw's backfield tandem of Marvin Lauderdale and Malcolm Hunter each scored on touchdown runs to put the Braves up 14-0. For Indian Land, Truesdale and running back Trey Eaves struggled to make headway. They combined for 46 yards until 3:17 remained in the second quarter, when Truesdale finally broke through with a 62-yard touchdown run. However, the extra point attempt was blocked, making the score 14-6 at halftime.
The third quarter was defined by huge plays, including a 72- yard touchdown run by Braves' quarterback Malcolm Hunter after the Cheraw defense recovered an Eaves fumble, one of three by the Warriors. But Truesdale responded with another 62- yard touchdown run, and the extra point brought the Warrioirs to within a touchdown.
But the Braves' wishbone offense ran out most of the remaining time.
"We can't sleep on teams, then wake up in the second half," said Truesdale after the game. "Everyone has to take a loss to find out what doesn't work about your team, and today what we did didn't work."
INDIAN LAND 20
SCORING SUMMARY CH --Marvin Lauderdale 6 yard TD run (Davis kick) CH -- Malcolm Hunter 9 yard TD run (Davis kick) IL -- Rondreas Truesdale 62 yard TD run (kick failed) CH --Malcolm Hunter 72 yard TD run (Davis kick) IL -- Rondreas Truesdale 62 yard TD run (2 point conversion) CH -- Marvin Lauderdale 13 yard TD run (Davis kick) IL -- Rondreas Truesdale 5 yard TD run TEAM STATISTICS
RUSHING -- ILHS: Rondreas Truesdale 23-236, Trey Eaves 10-9. CHHS: Marvin Lauderdale 24-122, Malcolm Hunter 2-74, Darrell Hawkins 9-37, Justin Chapman 2-9, Xavier Taylor 1-5.
PASSING -- ILHS: Rondreas Truesdale 3-4 10 yards, Dalton McGuirt 0-2, INT. CHHS: Malcolm Huunter 4-5, 54 yards.
RECEIVING -- ILHS: Trey Eaves 2-8, Michael Rodriguez 1-2. CHHS: Storm Jacobs 2-31, Marvin Lauderdale 2-23.
RECORDS: ILHS 6-1, CHHS 4-3