For the third time in the past four years, Laurens will play a first-round football playoff at Rock Hill’s District 3 Stadium.
Past results were not encouraging. On Nov. 2, 2017, Northwestern eliminated the Raiders from the Class 5A playoffs with a 58-7 victory. On Nov. 20, 2015, the Trojans won a 4A playoff game, 46-7.
This time the opponent is Rock Hill (7-2), which won Region 3-5A by defeating cross-town rival Northwestern 28-21 two weeks ago. It was the first time the Bearcats won their region and defeated Northwestern since 2009. Laurens (4-6) earned its playoff berth by defeating Easley 42-12 to take fifth place in Region 1-5A.
Rock Hill has rushed for over 270 yards in eight consecutive games. Against Northwestern, Noah Thompson and Narii Gaither combined for 245. The Bearcats attempted only five passes.
The Laurens rushing attack is prodigious, too. The Raiders are averaging 261.6 yards on the ground, with four backs over the 300-yard mark. Duane Martin leads with 858 yards, followed by Shamare Dendy with 637, quarterback Ryan Campbell with 583 and Jordan Woodruff with 358. Martin has scored 13 touchdowns.
Campbell, who has completed 42 of 92 pass attempts for 544 yards, has thrown the greatest number to Will Tinsley, who has caught 14 for 162 yards.
District 3 Stadium is located at 210 S. Cherry Rd. in Rock Hill. Tickets for the game are $8. A fan bus is leaving from Laurens District High School at 5:45. The round trip costs $5.