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By JOSH WASSON
After losing 16 seniors from last year’s team, the 2014 Chiefland Indians entered a preseason game with the Bell Bulldogs with many question marks. It’s safe to say some were answered Friday night with the Indians easily taking care of Bell 39-7.
The Indians set the tone on the first drive against a Bell team that made the playoffs for the first time in school history a year ago. The Indians picked up yards on the ground from GG McClendon, Jarquez Williams, and Levi Murray before senior quarterback Mike Larock found McClendon wide open in the end zone for a 29-yard touchdown.
On Chiefland’s next possession it didn’t take long to find the end zone. On the first play, junior Jarquez Williams raced untouched for 60 yards on a toss play as the offensive line did a great job of sealing off the end and blocking the backside.
That was the first of four touchdowns for Williams, with three rushing and one through the air. Williams shined in the backfield as he finished the game with 157 yards rushing. After a pair of long runs by the Bulldogs’ offense, the Indians’ defense stood tall and stopped Bell on a fourth down pass attempt.
The Indians’ offense then scored touchdowns on its last three possessions of the first half. After the fourth down stop, Larock threw a jump ball in the end zone, which saw McClendon show off his skills to come down with the ball for a
25-yard touchdown. Later, Larock, with a man in his face, threw a dime to Williams on a backside post for a 35-yard touchdown. Larock looked good under center and through the air in his first varsity start, as he finished the game with the 3 touchdowns and 89 yards passing. Williams scored his third touchdown with 2:09 left in the first half, racing 40 yards through the heart of the Bulldogs’ defense.
The second half saw many young guys get valuable playing experience for the Indians. Of course, it also saw Williams find the end zone again, this time on a 30 yard run with 9:14 left in the game.
The Bulldogs’ offense did find the end zone as they scored on a quarterback power with 1:40 left in the game.
The Chiefland defense gave up only 188 total yards, including 19 passing. Junior linebacker Billy Hammond finished with 8 tackles (5 for loss), sophomore Lonnie Hinote finished with 6 tackles (4 for loss), and senior defensive lineman Willie Brannon finished with 5 tackles (4 for loss). Junior Levi Murray finished with 5 tackles (3 for loss) and also picked up 40 yards on the ground.
Coach Aaron Richardson seemed pleased with the way the team handled their new roles on the night stating, “those young kids stepped into their new roles on the team as far as leadership and playmaking, they looked good.”
The offense had a very efficient night, scoring touchdowns on 6 of their 7 possessions. The offense finished with 372 total yards, 283 of those came on the ground.
Next week is when the games start accumulating on the record, as the Indians will welcome cross-county rival Bronson to town.
It has been 10 years since the Eagles and Indians have played a game that counted towards their record.
Richardson expects a well-prepared and talented Bronson team saying, “ I’ve seen them on film, and they’re as good as they’ve ever been, they’ll bring a bunch of fans across the county it will be an exciting Friday night.”