ROCK HILL – Laurens’ playoff stay was a brief one as Northwestern knocked the Raiders out of the Class 4A state playoffs with a 57-0 first-round victory at York County’s District 3 Stadium.
Junior quarterback Finley Polk threw for four touchdowns and backup running back Zilon Arnold ran for two as the Region 3-4A champion Trojans (9-1), who are also ranked No. 2 in Class 4A in the state media poll, exploded for 50 first-half points.
“They’re a very good team, and we’ve played a bunch of very good teams this year,” said LDHS head coach Daryl Smith. “We were a really young team this year. We’ve got 25 guys that contributed in all those games the whole year long, and they’ll be back, and we’re excited about that.”
With the game well in hand for Northwestern, officials kept the game clock running in the second half.
The Raiders (2-9) won both of its games in Region 2-4A, beating Riverside and Wade Hampton to enter the playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
“I just can’t be prouder of the guys that finished the season out,” Smith said. “I know how much they prepared and how much fun they had playing with each other. They came to practice every day and they did a good job. And I’m really proud of the seniors who have been here for four years especially.”
The Trojans will host Greenwood in the second round of the playoffs next Friday night. Greenwood was a 17-16 winner over North Augusta.
Northwestern 57, Laurens 0
N – Jaylen Burris 19 pass from Finley Polk (Matthew Fish kick), 8:41, 7-0.
N – Turbo Richard 14 run (Mason Grier pass from Polk), 7:20, 15-0.
N – Kameron Vance pass from Polk (Fish kick), :44, 22-0.
N – T.D. Knox 14 pass from Polk (Fish kick), 10:31, 29-0.
N – Zilon Arnold 1 run (Fish kick), 6:22, 36-0.
N – Arnold 5 run (Fish kick), 2:40, 43-0.
N – Greer Hopkins pass from Polk (Fish kick), :27, 50-0.
N – (#37) 2 run (Caleb Rodriguez-Melchor kick), 7:45, 57-0.