It would be hard for less to be known about a high school football opponent than what Laurens knows about its next foe.
It’s halfway through October, Year of the Coronavirus 2020, and the combatants in Friday night’s game have played four games, three of them by the Raiders.
Aiken (0-1) visits K.C. Hanna Stadium to take on the Raiders, who are coming off a 24-16 victory over Eastside. In its only game to date, the Green Hornets fell, 27-14, to Airport, though Aiken led 14-13 at halftime behind two Ferderian Terry touchdowns.
In the year of COVID-19, it is possible for a team to be 0-1 in the middle of October. It’s unusual for a team to be 1-2 in the middle of October. Laurens head coach Daryl Smith won’t even know what the Aiken junior varsity looks like. The Raiders had to replace the Green Hornets with Chesnee.
Smith said Phillip Collins (6-0, 265 Sr.) is the best nose guard LDHS has seen. In goal-line situations, the Green Hornets insert Collins into the offensive backfield as a blocking back.
Aiken has a long tradition – William “Refrigerator” Perry played there, among many others – but the Green Hornets have recently fallen on hard times. In the past four seasons, Aiken’s record is 5-39. The last winning record was 6-5 in 2015.
Quarterback Skylar King runs an option offense with multiple alignments. Sometimes the Green Hornets put King under center. Most of the time, Aiken lines up in a shotgun with either one or two backs behind King. Sometimes the backfield is empty of running backs. Often the “pitch man” arrives in motion from the slot or wing on the off side.
“Getting a win against Eastside was good for our kids, who have played really well at times,” Smith said. “It was good to finally get that win. They kept battling and came out on the positive end. We got the breaks this time and won it.”