Getting the season off with a win can set the tone for an entire season and only one of the two teams was going to do that as the Nation Ford Falcons hosted the Indian Land Warriors Friday night as both teams opened the 2022 football season.
The Warriors, now 1-0 on the season, took advantage of a strong run game and more than 200-yards in penalties from Nation Ford, now 0-1, which led to them picking up a 25-8 win.
“We missed opportunities due to a lack of focus,” said Nation Ford head coach Michael Allen. “You can’t make these types of mistakes and win games. It was a tough night.”
Indian Land’s offensive consistency was key in the game. They were led by two key players in the run game as Jaden Singletary scored twice going for 31 yards on 12 carries and Myles Stinson went for 84 yards on 11 carries for a touchdown as well. Warriors’ quarterback Jaxon Schedit was 9-18 for 127 yards and a rushing touchdown in the game.
Singletary‘s second touchdown of the game came on a five-yard run in the fourth quarter with about 6:15 left in the game. The one thing that helped Indian Land and hurt Nation Ford throughout the game were penalty issues against the Falcons. Nation Ford had 20 penalties for more than 200 yards.
Nation Ford came out in the third quarter running right at Indian Land as Jeremiah Hailstock picked up a first down on the first play of scrimmage to get the Falcons at midfield. Hailstock rushed for 52 yards on 10 carries.
The Falcons were able to move the ball but struggled with penalties on the drive, which kept them heading backwards. Will Alvarado had a big 17-yard run to get Nation Ford into the red zone about midway through the third quarter. However, the drive stalled at the seven-yard line as the Warriors defense held strong. Alvarado rushed for 88 yards on 21 carries in the game.
On the Warriors’ first series of the third quarter, Indian Land was aided by a big run from Stinson, but three 15-yard penalties from Nation Ford gave them an extra 45-yards on the drive. Schedit would take advantage of those penalties and run the ball in from five-yards out to extend the Warriors lead to 19-0 after the missed extra point.
Nation Ford was able to move the ball better as the game wore on and put together a decent drive on their second series of the third quarter. The drive got the Falcons to the one-yard line, where quarterback Carson Black took the ball in to get Nation Ford on the board. The Falcons followed it up with a two-point conversion. Black went 9-24-1 for 53 yards with multiple passes called back because of penalties.
Nation Ford struggled offensively to move the ball in the first quarter picking up just one first down. Those struggles continued into the second quarter. Indian Land was more intentional and moved the ball on the ground eating up time off the clock.
Indian Land would mix in passing plays that seemed to catch Nation Ford off guard as they would gain big chunks of real estate at a time. In the second quarter, Schedit would hit Jaden Peoples for a big 32-yard pass to again move them past midfield.
That pass play would set up both Schedit and Singletary working their way down the field as Singletary would cap off a 14-play drive with a one-yard touchdown run.
Nation Ford struggled throwing the ball, not as much throwing it as having people actually catch it, which forced them to go one dimensional and rely on the run, where Alvarado did the majority of work. Nation Ford got to the Warriors nine-yard line, but was backed up on several plays and then failed to get off a 37-yard field goal attempt. They also struggled to get off a 35-yard field goal attempt later in the half as Indian Land took a 13-0 lead into the break.
Indian Land took the opening kickoff and got a first down on their first play of scrimmage with a 10-yard Singletary run. The Warriors had a big pass play that allowed them to cross midfield as Hayden Morris hauled in a 40-yard pass from Schedit. Several plays later, Schedit took a shot at the end zone facing a fourth and 11, but came up empty.
Nation Ford came up empty on their first series as Black was picked off by the Warriors’ Timor Hickman-Collins. Indian Land couldn’t take advantage of the good field position and turned the ball back over on downs to the Falcons.
Both teams struggled to move the ball early, as neither could seem to get the big play they needed or find the hole they were looking for in the line. Indian Land was able to get a big defensive conversion as they blocked a punt and recovered at the 15-yard line of the Falcons. Three players later Stinson running the Wildcat give the Warriors a lead.
Nation Ford will go on the road next week to take on York Comprehensive High.
Mac Banks: email@example.com, @fortprep