The Laurens defense had no answer for Belton-Honea Path all-state running back Marquise Henderson and the Bears rushing attack Friday night in a 49-21 loss at K.C. Hanna Stadium.
Henderson, who announced an offer from Arizona earlier this week, rushed for 218 yards and three touchdowns, scoring on runs of 3, 55 and 66 yards.
BHP (2-0) jumped out to a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter behind Henderson’s 3-yard score and a 4-yard pass from quarterback Noah Thomas to Tay Paul with 3:21 left in the opening quarter.
The Raiders (0-3) at least temporarily stifled BHP’s momentum on the opening play of the second quarter when Ja’Mauri Williams picked up a blocked punt and returned it for a touchdown to cut the BHP lead to 14-7, but that success was short-lived.
Henderson followed with his 66-yard scoring scamper, and back up running back Shaheem Robbs, who ran for 78 yards, scored on a 7-yard run.
Senior quarterback Nick Danciu scored both of the Raiders offensive touchdowns, finding the end zone on runs of 2 and 8 yards. Danciu capped off a 10-play, 78-yard drive with 8:31 left in the third quarter to cut BHP’s lead to 28-14. He added an 8-yard run to end the scoring with 33 seconds to play.
Raiders head coach Daryl Smith said his team is still trying to find the consistency that has eluded it in three straight losses to begin the season.
“I think these guys will respond,” he said. “We play a very tough schedule. These first three teams could very well be 30-0 at the end of the season. I feel like we can still get there, but we’re not there yet, obviously.”
Danciu led the Raiders in rushing for the second straight game since transferring from Hillcrest and assumed the starting quarterback role. He ran for 56 yards while completing 19 of 40 passes for 149 yards.
BHP senior quarterback Noah Thomas completed 14 of 18 passes for 134 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran for a 1-yard score in the fourth quarter to put BHP ahead 49-14.
The Bears compiled 553 yards in total offense, including 428 on the ground.
Game Notes: BHP’s 49 points was the least given up by the Raiders so far this season. LDHS gave up 55 to Hillcrest and 50 to Clinton. . . . The Bears, ranked No. 7 in Class 3A, are among a slew of ranked teams on the Raiders’ early schedule. Clinton is No. 3 in 3A, upcoming opponent Chapman is No. 5 in 3A, and T.L. Hanna is No. 5 in Class 5A. Hillcrest was unranked when the two teams met in Week 0, but the Rams are now in the Top 10 in 5A. . . . BHP’s Marquise Henderson, a 4-star running back, said on “X” (nee Twitter) Tuesday that Arizona was his 11th scholarship offer. The all-state performer’s list of other Division I offers includes James Madison, Vanderbilt, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and Coastal Carolina among others.
Belton-Honea Path 49, Laurens 21
BHP – Marquise Henderson 3 run (Timothy Bertoni kick), 8:41, 7-0.
BHP – Tay Paul 4 pass from Noah Thomas (Bertoni kick), 3:21, 14-0.
LDHS – Ja’Mauri Williams block punt return (Brock Franklin kick), 11:49, 14-7.
BHP – Henderson 66 run (Bertoni kick), 5:56, 21-7.
BHP – Shaheem Robbs 7 run (Bertoni kick), 1:22, 28-7.
LDHS – Nick Danciu 2 run (Franklin kick), 8:31, 28-14.
BHP – Henderson 55 run (Bertoni kick), 7:31, 35-14
BHP – James Moore 27 pass from Thomas (Bertoni kick), 2:38, 42-14.
BHP – Thomas 1 run (Bertoni kick), 4:54, 49-14.
LDHS – Danciu 8 run (Franklin kick), :33, 49-21.