GREER – Laurens finally broke into the win column Friday night with an 18-17 Region 2-4A victory over Riverside.
The Raiders took the lead on a 73-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Nick Danciu to wideout Josh Goodwin, who raced up the right sideline for the game-winning score with 10:29 left in the game.
After stopping the Warriors (4-4 overall, 1-1 Region 2-4A) at the Laurens 33-yard-line, the Raiders took over on downs with 6:27 to play and drove to the Riverside 6.
LDHS turned the ball over on downs with only 13 seconds left in the game after holding the ball for 6:14 of game time.
The Warriors completed a pass just to the LDHS 35, but Riverside wide receiver Mikkel Skinner was intercepted by Raiders defensive back Javaye Suber on the final play of the game.
“These 35 guys that came up here tonight and just showed a lot of guts,” said LDHS head coach Daryl Smith, referring to his roster that was depleted by injuries. “They weren’t down. They just played hard all night all the way down to the end.”
Ten LDHS players, including starting linebacker Noah Mosley, did not dress out due to injuries.
Danciu had his best outing as a Raider since transferring from Hillcrest after the Week 0 game between LDHS and the Rams, completing 17 of 23 passes for 204 yards and the game-winning touchdown pass to Goodwin. Danciu also capped off a second-quarter drive with a 1-yard run that gave the Raiders a 10-7 lead they carried into halftime.
The LDHS defense, which had allowed 48 points or more in six of seven losses this season, held the Warriors to 209 yards of total offense and pinned Riverside just outside its own end zone with just over five minutes left in the third quarter, forcing a safety that cut the Warriors’ lead to 14-12.
Riverside extended its lead to 17-12 with a 31-yard Josh Clarke field goal in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, nearly matching Brock Franklin’s 33-yarder that first put the Raiders on the scoreboard with a 3-0 lead with 6:52 left in the first quarter.
A little over a minute later, Danciu found a wide-open Goodwin streaking up the visitors’ sideline. Goodwin had three catches for a game-high 113 yards.
“It’s one point,” Smith said of the victory. “But being on the good side of it gives the guys a burst of energy. Hopefully, we’ll get a couple of injured guys back next week for Wade Hampton, and we can finish strong. That’s what we keep talking to them about. . . . If we can get these next two (region wins over Wade Hampton and Eastside), we could get a home playoff game, and that’d be great for these guys.”
LDHS (1-7, 1-1) returns home next Friday night when they will host Wade Hampton (2-5, 0-1). The Generals did not play this week, but lost 49-7 to Riverside on Sept. 30.
Laurens 18, Riverside 17
LDHS – Brock Franklin 33 FG, 6:52, 3-0.
RIV – Mikkel Skinner 4 run (Josh Clarke kick), 3:42, 7-3.
LDHS – Nick Danciu 1 run (Franklin kick), 11:08, 10-7.
RIV – Jacob Medlin 36 run (Clarke kick), 10:20, 14-10.
LDHS – Safety on punt attempt, 5:01, 14-12.
RIV – Clarke 31 FG, 11:15, 17-12.
LDHS – Josh Goodwin 73 pass from Danciu (run failed), 10:29,18-17.