The Nation Ford Falcons overcame a slow start to beat the Indian Land Warriors 31-7 for their second win of the season.
“I felt like our defense played tough tonight,” said Nation Ford head coach Michael Allen. “We were able to stop the run and that is something you got to do to win ball games.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Falcons got on the board when Nathan Mahaffey ran in from 12 yards out on the first play of the second quarter.
Indian Land showed some life in the second quarter after an interception. Indian Land quarterback David Loughry hit receiver AJ Jefferson for a 32-yard pickup to put the Warriors into the red zone for the first time in the game. However, the Falcons’ Jalen Willers picked off a pass two plays later to kill the drive.
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Nation Ford gained control of the game when quarterback Ben Tuipulotu, who missed last week’s game, hit Harrison Cohen for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The score was on the Falcons’ second drive of the second half, capping a three-play drive.
“Ben is a ballplayer and he is doing what we need him to do to win,” Allen said of his senior signal caller. “He is a competitor.”
The Nation Ford run defense was big at stopping Indian Land. In the first half, the Warriors were held to minus 17 yards rushing on eight attempts. In the second half, Nation Ford’s John Young picked off a Loughry pass and returned it 20 yards for a touchdown.
Nathan Mahaffey rushed for 93 yards on 14 carries and scored a touchdown for the Falcons. Tuipulotu rushed for 65 yards on 19 carries and passed for 132 yards. Loughry passed for 207 yards for Indian Land. John Gregory caught seven passes for 79 yards for the Warriors.
Nation Ford will start Region IV play next week against Clover at home. Indian Land will play Chester at home to open its region schedule.
Nation Ford 31, Indian Land 7
Nation Ford 0;10;7;14;-;31
Indian Land 0;0;0;7;-7
NF - Nathan Mahaffey 12 run (Carter Richardson kick), 11:54
NF - Richardson 31-yard field goal, 50.0
NF - Harrison Cohen 35 pass from Ben Tuipulotu (Richardson kick), 7:36
NF - John Young 20 interception return (Richardson kick), 11:48
NF - Tuipulotu 12 run (Richardson kick), 7:19
IL - Brandon Britton 12 pass from David Loughry (Brandon Dickerson kick), 2:38
First downs 19;12
Passing yards 132;207
Fumbles/lost 3-1; 0-0
RUSHING Nation Ford: Ben Tuipulotu 19-65, Nathan Mahaffey 14-93, G’hari Page 9-70, Dominic Campo 1-(-6). Indian Land: David Loughry 4-(-29), Jacob Carroll 5-(-4), Brandon Britton 6-8.
PASSING Nation Ford: Ben Tuipulotu 8-15-1 132. Indian Land: David Loughry 27-48-2 207.
RECEIVING Nation Ford: Caleb Starnes 2-47, Nathan Mahaffey 1-25, Petey Tuipulotu 3-16, Harrison Cohen 2-44. Indian Land: Tyree Sistare 8-35, Grayson Barber 1-5, Caleb Wallace 2-23, Jacob Carroll 1-2, John Gregory 7-79, AJ Jefferson 1-32, Jacob Cooley 3-18, Brandon Britton 4-13.
RECORDS Nation Ford 2-3, Indian Land 1-4