On football Friday night, Laurens and Laurens Academy will attempt to remain undefeated, while Clinton tries to get into the win column.
The Crusaders and Red Devils are at home. The Raiders are playing nearby.
The county matchups are promising, in terms of records to date: 1-0 vs. 2-0, 1-0 vs. 1-0, and 0-2 vs. 0-2.
Laurens, rested after a week off it wasn’t expecting, heads to Hillcrest on Friday night attempting to remain undefeated. For the Rams, it’s the same.
The Simpsonville school has been a thorn in the Raiders’ side for several years, and some bitterness lingers between the schools related to several players who have left LDHS to play for the Rams. Hillcrest (2-0) is now coached by Anthony Frate, formerly an assistant at Wren. The previous coach, Greg Porter, now coaches at Greenville High.
Laurens (1-0) opened with a 28-0 win over Clinton. A visit to Myrtle Beach was canceled due to Hurricane Dorian. Hillcrest has defeated Mauldin, 28-7, and Woodmont, 34-7.
Against Woodmont, three of Hillcrest’s five touchdowns occurred on runs, but Deonte Smith and Cooper Moses each scored on pass receptions.
The Laurens defense was stout against the Red Devils, limiting Clinton to 149 yards of offense. Head coach Chris Liner got a combined 187 rushing yards from Jordan Woodruff (104) and Zy Todd.
Hillcrest’s defense has yielded an average of only 113.5 yards per game in its two victories.
This could be the week of Corey Fountain’s first victory as head coach in Clinton. Powdersville was one of two teams the Red Devils defeated last year, and the Patriots are off to another slow start.
Like Clinton, Powdersville is winless in two games. The opposition has been stiff. Belton-Honea Path defeated the Patriots, 49-9, and Wren followed with a 75-8 conquest.
Clinton fell at home to Broome, 49-20, last week and is playing at Wilder Stadium again. The Red Devil offense was productive in yards against the Centurions but mistake-prone. Broome capitalized on four Clinton interceptions and two lost fumbles. Three Red Devil running backs – Darian Bailey, Jykorie Gary and Danny Kinard – combined to rush for 179 yards, and Austin Caughman scored on a 30-yard interception return.
Clinton won last year’s game, the first ever between the two schools, by a score of 47-0.
Last week Laurens Academy’s off week was intentional, and the Crusaders return to Todd Kirk Field two weeks after opening the season with a 50-32 victory over Northside Christian.
The eight-man brand of football practiced by the Crusaders suits the needs of its prolific quarterback, Thomas Lowry, who passed for five touchdowns and ran for two more against Northside Christian.
Lowry piled up 445 yards of total offense, 285 through the air and 160 on the ground.
St. John’s Christian Academy, also 1-0, opened with an 18-14 win over Wardlaw. The Cavaliers will bus up from Moncks Corner.
All three games begin at 7:30 p.m.