The Laurens Raiders played in arguably the biggest regular-season game in Chris Liner’s tenure as head coach Friday night – and they didn’t disappoint.
Laurens quarterback Ryan Campbell rushed for a game-high 118 yards, Duane Martin had three rushing touchdowns, and the Raiders pulled away to a 33-23 victory over the T.L. Hanna Yellow Jackets at K.C. Hanna Stadium, clinching the Raiders the second region championship in Liner’s time as head coach. Laurens last won a region title in 2016.
With the victory Laurens moved to 7-1 overall, 6-0 in Region 1-5A, and will play at Easley next Friday in the final game of the regular season.
Hanna pulled out to an early 6-0 lead on the Raiders got Martin’s three rushing touchdowns (4, 1, 4), and a 2-yard dive from Zy Todd just before halftime, all helping the Raiders pull out to a 26-9 lead with 8:43 left in regulation. Hanna added a pair of touchdowns to help cut into the margin, but Quin Patterson caught a 17-yard pass from Campbell to help put the game on ice.
Laurens held Hanna to 219 yards of offense, including 52 yards passing.
CLINTON: The Red Devils got rushing touchdowns from Jykorie Gary, Shyquan Kinard, and Kimon Quarles, while C.K. Vance returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown to put victory on ice, and Clinton pulled out a 28-14 victory over host Emerald to clinch a playoff spot.
Clinton (4-5, 2-2) moved a game up on Mid-Carolina and into a tie for third place with Newberry – which holds the tie-breaker over the Red Devils. Clinton is still in the running for a potential first-round home playoff game, but would need to beat Woodruff and have Newberry lose to Emerald to give itself a chance at finishing in the top two in the standings.
Gary scored on a 5-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to put Clinton on the board first, then Kinard added a 1-yard scoring run late in the second to go up 14-0. Emerald got a touchdown in the final minute of the first half to get back in the game, but Clinton got a 4-yard touchdown run from Quarles and Vance’s 23-yard INT return to help solidify its lead.
Clinton quarterback Davis Wilson led all rushers with 82 yards on just eight carries.
LA: Laurens Academy closed out its home schedule Friday night with a 60-28 loss to Wardlaw at Todd Kirk Field.
The loss drops LA to 3-5 on the season, 2-4 in region play, with a road trip to Newberry Academy. LA needs a victory in its final game to bolster its hopes for a postseason bid.