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Jayden McGowan (3)

EASLEY -- With a kickoff temperature of 45 degrees, Laurens made the homestanding and higher-seeded Easley Green Wave even colder in a 56-13 mismatch in the 1st round of the Class 4A football playoffs on Friday night.

After both teams exchanged punts on their 1st drives, Easley running back Myles Martin had big rushing gains to the Raiders’ 40- and 18-yard lines, respectively, with quarterback A.J. Brown throwing a touchdown pass to receiver Ethan Swan for an early 6-0 Green Wave lead.

The edge was fleeting.

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After Laurens playmaker Jayden McGowan blocked the extra point, what might have seemed too little actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the Raiders.

The rout was on soon for Laurens.

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James Rawl

It started with a 6-play, 67-yard scoring drive for the Raiders that included a 24-yard run from quarterback James Rawl and a touchdown pass to McGowan. Shortly thereafter, receiver Jay Pulley scored a touchdown reception following a 5-play, 45-yard drive and McGowan notched his 2nd touchdown reception via a 34-yard pass from Rawl.

But the more for Laurens, the better.

Pulley added 2 more touchdown drives, one of 89 yards and McGowan getting another on Laurens’ 3rd drive. The receivers combined for 6 Raiders touchdowns in the 1st half. 

The Green Wave defense allowed 40 points per game this year. 

Laurens’ defensive unit shut down Easley’s offense. Running back Myles Martin continued to run the ball well, but nothing came out of it, including a 34-yard field goal miss.

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Laurens put the game away in the 2nd half with Rawl and running back Tye Roberson putting rushing touchdowns on the stat sheet.

Brown had a rushing touchdown for Easley (5-5) in the 4th quarter, but with a running clock against Easley, Laurens (6-3) wrapped up its 1st-round assignment.

It won’t be easy going the next time around for the Raiders, though.

Laurens travels to Rock Hill next Friday to take on South Pointe, a program considered among the best in the state. The Stallions are coming off a 1st-round playoff victory over Richland Northeast.