Red Devils fall just short
PHOTOS: Laurens preserved a 24-18 win Friday night at KC Hanna Stadium with the recovery of a Clinton fumble at the Raiders' 11-yard line.
The turnover with 4 minutes on the game clock gave the Raiders the chance to run out the clock in a hard-fought, cross-county rivalry game. The lines grew long as kickoff approached as people flocked to the stadium and were wanded for security. Once inside - some opted for radio and internet coverage as parking was too much of a challenge - fans were treated to a 5A Laurens vs 3A Clinton match-up of fairly evenly matched teams. Clinton took a 12-10 lead, but Laurens proved mentally tough enough to come back and win.
Laurens took the 7-0 lead in the first quarter with a 63-yard drive. Clinton answered wiith a 40-yard passing touchdown, kicking proved a difference as Clinton could not convert a PAT or, later, a 2-point conversion. A Laurens field goal gave the Raiders a 10-6 2nd quarter lead. Clinton's 61-yard passing TD gave the Red Devils their lead with 6:54 before half time. Laurens scored again with :38 before the half, and teams went to the locker room in a 17-12 Laurens leading game. Laurens scored, then Clinton answered so the Raiders held the 24-18 lead with 9:36 left to play. The Clinton fumble ended the last chance for a Red Devil touchdown.
Clinton's sophomore quarterback Konnor Richardson tallied all 3 Red Devil touchdowns - two through the air and one running the ball. Vilo Boyd was a defensive standout, drawing primary coverage on Raider receiver Chris Jackson, a Hillcrest transfer, and having a role in many other defensive plays including a fumble recovery. Troy Dendy for Laurens, and Kris Holmes and Mark Wise for Clinton put on a running exhibition, all behind big, bruising offensive lines.
Clinton plays host to Greer next Friday, in the season's second game, as non-conference action continues.