Laurens Academy’s resurgent 8-man football program was the first in Laurens County to start playing, currently the only one with a winning record and, at the very least, the first to secure a playoff bid.
By traveling to Johnston and defeating Wardlaw Academy (3-3), the Crusaders can assure a home site in the first round.
By all tangible measures, Laurens Academy (6-3) should be favored. Against a fairly equivalent schedule, the average LA game is a 44-19 victory. The Patriots’ norm is a 29-24 loss. Of the four common opponents, the Crusaders have performed better in every single instance by margin of point differential: +42 against Northside Christian, +52 vs. Palmetto Christian, +24 vs. Jefferson Davis and +26 vs. Holly Hill Academy.
The only notable edge Wardlaw has is intangible. The Patriots are playing at home, that plus games are not played on paper.
Even by the liberal standards of 8-man football, Laurens Academy’s numbers are prolific.
According to the latest posted stats, Lowry has passed for an average of 184.8 yards a game, with 25 touchdowns and but 1 interception, while rushing for 71.2 yards with 10 touchdowns. Clarence Bertoli has caught 48 passes for 8 touchdowns, and Diamonte Grant has scored 7 times. The tackle-per-game averages are: Judson Watkins 11.0, Brett Young 9.8, Cal Robertson 9.7, Carson Venable 7.3, Grant 5.3 and Will Jones 3.7. Robertson, Watkins and Grant each have 4 sacks, while Jones has 3.
The Crusaders’ next victory clinches their best season in 10 years, dating back to the 2010 team that finished 11-1.
Laurens Academy closed out volleyball season on Tuesday night. The varsity Crusaders won 3-1, while the middle season closed out a perfect 15-0 season with a 2-0 win at Newberry Academy.