The Indian Land Warriors entered Friday’s game against Pageland Central undefeated at home and riding a win streak at The Reservation that dated back to October 2013. The Eagles squashed that streak en route to a 32-3 dismantling.
How dominant were the Eagles? In the first half they allowed the Warriors (3-3, 1-2 Region 4-2A) one scoring opportunity—a 38-yard missed field goal attempt by Warrior kicker Shea Rodgers midway through the first quarter. In the second half the Eagles, again, allowed just one scoring opportunity. That time Rodgers hit the 35-yard field goal, but it was already 28-0 in favor of the Eagles (4-2, 3-0).
In between those two kicking plays, the Eagles put on a clinic on turning would-be short gains into big plays. In the first half, most of those big plays came by the feet of running back Dedrick Robinson. On a third-down play late in the first quarter Robinson snatched a dump-down pass from quarterback John Rollings out of the air and shook off a couple of defenders who appeared to have contained him. He then scampered up the right sideline for 57 yards before being brought down on the Warriors’ 28 yard line.
Two plays later Gary Heath busted up the middle for a 27-yard gain and was rewarded with the one-yard touchdown run on the next play. Robinson produced the next two scores. He took off on a 45-yard touchdown run at the 8:48 mark of the second quarter and later plowed in for a one-yard touchdown run at the 3:59 mark.
The third quarter belonged to Heath. In the opening drive of the half, he rushed for 56 yards on four plays, including two plays that totaled 49 yards. He finished the drive with a three-yard touchdown and finished the game with 89 yards and two touchdowns on eight plays. Robinson, who rested the majority of the second half on the sideline, pitched in 150 total yards and two scores on the day.
Indian Land turned the ball over three times. The first leading to Heath’s first touchdown. The second, a sack fumble by Eagles defensive end Tim Hodges that led to Hodges’ touchdown run on offense three minutes later. And the last, a fumble on a hand-off at the 1:54 mark in the fourth that effectively ended the game.
Eagles Head coach Joey Mangum said the key to game was focus.
"Indian Land had a great game plan for us and it was hard at first and we stayed focused," he said. "Our backs did a really good job of finding wholes, but it was really tough. Tougher than what the score says. We got some big plays."
Of those big plays by his running backs Mangum said that Robinson and Heath like to compete with each other and play physical, a fact not lost on Indian Land.