Little more than a week removed from its most stirring victory of the season, Laurens suffered an equally heartbreaking defeat on homecoming night at K.C. Hanna Stadium.
Riverside overcame a 14-point deficit with three fourth-quarter scores to escape with a 17-14 Region 2-4A victory Friday night, putting the Warriors in the driver’s seat for the region crown.
Joshua Clark’s 35-yard field goal with 59 seconds to play gave Riverside its first lead of the contest.
A last-ditch Laurens drive stalled at the Riverside 36, and the Warriors were able to take one final snap on offense to claim the victory.
“We won last week with a last-second field goal, and we lost this one to a last-second field goal,” said Laurens head coach Daryl Smith. “It’s tough, but we’ve got a couple more games to play. We’ve just got to do it.”
Laurens quarterback Nick Fowler threw a pair of touchdown passes – a 6-yard strike to Jay Pulley with 4:37 left in the second quarter to put the Raiders ahead 7-0. Fowler found Cayson Elledge in the end zone from 9 yards out to extend the Laurens lead to 14-0 with 8:44 left in the third quarter.
But Riverside (3-5 overall, 2-0 region) owned the fourth quarter as the Raiders allowed a 90-yard touchdown drive capped by quarterback Robinson Sanders’ 4-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 14-14. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Zachary Beasley finished off a six-and-a-half-minute drive with an 8-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal to get Riverside on the scoreboard. Beasley led all rushers with 68 yards on 16 carries.
Clay Black picked off a Fowler pass at midfield and returned it to the Laurens 36 with 4:15 left in the game, setting up Riverside’s game-winning field goal. Fowler completed 13 of 21 passes for 103 yards with the two touchdowns and the interception.
The Raiders fell to 2-6 overall and 1-1 in Region 2-4A and travel to Wade Hampton next Friday night.
While Laurens’ hopes for a region championship took a hit with the loss to the Warriors, the Raiders still have hope for at least a share of the title. They will need Greer or Eastside to defeat Riverside and will have to not victories over Eastside and Wade Hampton over the next two weeks.
LDHS NOTES: Senior Kauree Munyan was crowned Laurens District High 2022 Homecoming Queen at halftime of Friday night’s game. Munyan, an all-state softball player, made a verbal commitment to play at S.C. State earlier this year. . . . Senior QB James Rawl underwent successful surgery to repair his torn ACL and MCL on Wednesday, Sept. 30. Rawl, who committed to Anderson University, said the surgery went well. Rawl injured the knee during the Raiders’ overtime home loss to Chapman.
Riverside 17, Laurens 14 Photo Gallery