The Broome Centurions withstood penalties, turnovers, the loss of their starting quarterback and big plays from the visiting Indian Land Warriors to pull out a 27-16 win Friday night at Royal Stadium.
The Warriors jumped out to an early lead when Alex Murphy scooped up a blocked Broome punt and scored from 24 yards out for a 7-0 lead.
Indian Land upped their lead to 14-0 on their first offensive possession as David Loughry found A.J. Jefferson behind the Centurion defense and hit him in stride for a 41-yard touchdown.
Broome answered on the ensuing kick when Ju’Qun Wilkins raced 96 yards for the score cutting the lead to 14-7.
The Warriors added a safety to up their lead to 16-7 but after that it would be all Centurions.
Broome’s defense made big plays all night but the biggest may have been Jarius Jeter picked off a Warriors pass and returned it 23 yards. A penalty moved it to the 10.
From there Jeter ran it in to get Broome within two at 16-14 at the half.
“Our defense has been solid all year,” said Broome head coach Lynn Fleming, “they’ve been really good. They get overlooked but they are a solid group and give us opportunities every week.”
Broome also had four sacks.
The Centurion defense picked up where they left off when defensive lineman Dylan Threadqill made the pick and returned it to the Warriors 31.
Jeter pounded in from 2 yards out for his second rushing TD and Broome’s first lead of the night at 21-16.
Fleming said of Jeter, “He’s consistent, he’s solid, he’s a heck of a football player.”
With Branden Taylor down with a leg injury Wilkins guided the Broome offense in the second half.
He capped the scoring when he weaved 20 yards through Warriors defenders for the final score.
“(Wilkins) did a great job of moving us down the field and getting us in position to win the football game,” said Fleming.
Warriors head coach Horatio Blades was left shaking his head after his squad dropped this one.
Our defense played well but turnovers always get you at the end of the day,” he said.
“That’s our M.O. Every game we lost has been because of turnovers and penalties,” said Blades. “That’s undisciplined I’m going to make some changes and we’ll fix it,” he said.
Fleming credited the Warriors for “playing their guts out. They did a great job.”