INDIAN LAND --
Call it first game jitters, overconfidence, or first game sloppiness, but the fact of the matter for the Indian Land Warriors is they didnt execute.
The Warriors, coming off a 19-12 preseason win over Lancaster in the Founders Kickoff Classic jamboree, lost their season opener at home to the Buford Yellow Jackets 27-9.
We came off Lancaster like we won the Super Bowl, said linebacker Kentavis Vinson. We will learn from our mistakes so we can win next week. Weve got to play harder.
Senior Dalton McGuirt, who had been competing with junior George Morris for the quarterback job, got the start for the Warriors, who won the toss and elected to receive. The Warriors' first drive seemingly set the tone for the game when McGuirts pass was intercepted on the 1 yard line after driving to the Buford 15.
Buford didnt have possession for very long, however, as the following play resulted in a safety for the Warriors, giving them an early 2-0 lead. That would be the only time during the game the Warriors would lead.
Bufords following possession resulted in the Yellow Jackets' first score of the night. The Yellow Jackets marched down the field to the 1-yard line and from there quarterback C.J. Blackmon snuck in for the score. The extra point was no good, bringing the score to 6-2 Yellow Jackets.
Neither team scored on their ensuing positions. Indian Lands fourth possession ended in Bufords second score of the night. Morris was picked off by defensive back Mikeem McKinney for six. The extra point was good, bringing the score 13-2
With less than 30 seconds in the half, Buford scored again. The extra point attempt was good, leaving the halftime score 20-2.
Indian Land started the second half convincingly, scoring on its first drive. McGuirt led the Warriors down the field, rushing 20 yards on the drive and passing for another 49, capped by a 10-yard touchdown pass to Manny McCord. The extra point was good, making the score 20-9.
But that was the Warriors' last sign of life for the night.
To me, as a team, in a way Im kind of happy that we lost because I feel not only that we didnt do our part as individuals but as a team. It should wake us up so we play better next week, said running back Dominique Smith.
I was pleased with the efforts our kids gave in the second half, but our execution on both sides of the ball in the first half was so bad, it was just horrible, added head coach Michael Mayer. When you play like that you deserve to lose. We did some very dumb things that we shouldnt have done on both sides of the ball. Things we had very specifically practiced against.
The Warriors will play their first away game of the season next week when they travel to Blacksburg High School.
I think Blacksburg is a better team than Buford, I think theyre a tougher opponent, so were going to have to get better, said Mayer.
Next week is going to be a big week for our team because we are going to find out what kind of character these kids have. Are going to come back and fight and win the next ball game or are we going to roll over and play dead? Were going to find out what were made of.