The beginning of Laurens Academy’s football season has a bit of a stepping-stone aspect.

While Holly Hill Academy was defeating LA, 18-12, Palmetto Christian was defeating Clarendon Hall, 62-20. A week later, Palmetto Christian edged the Crusaders, 42-38, and Clarendon Hall defeated Cathedral Academy, 44-28.

The Crusaders, while 0-2, appear to be stepping down the steps instead of up them. The Saints of Clarendon Hall visit Todd Kirk Field on Friday, and LA visits Cathedral Academy in Charleston on the following week. Just to complete the makeshift round-robin, Holly Hill visits Clarendon Hall on Sept. 18.

Results to date seem to favor Laurens Academy in its next two contests.

A junior receiver named Kylic Horton figures to be as crucial to Clarendon Hall as senior Thomas Lowry is to the Crusaders. In last week’s victory, Horton ran up 407 all-purpose (rushing/receiving) yards and scored five touchdowns, two of them on kickoff returns of 85 and 90 yards. He caught three touchdown passes of 11, 65 and 69 yards.

At the same time, Lowry was passing for 146 yards and rushing for 111 in Laurens Academy’s excruciating 42-38 loss at Palmetto Christian.

Referring to Horton’s two kickoff returns, Clarendon Hall head coach Anthony Reitenour said no one had kicked the ball deep to the speedster, who wears No. 1, since his freshman year. It is unlikely the Crusaders will make that mistake.

Laurens Academy has lost two close games. Clarendon Hall has won big and lost big. How that twain meets will determine the outcome.