ROCK HILL – If Friday night’s 2nd-round playoff contest was a derby, Stallions would have won.
They did, 47-20, in Class 4A football to South Point.
“It’s not the way we wanted it to end, but with everyone competing for a state championship, it’s going to end in a loss, but you can’t take away everything the guys have accomplished this season, the adversity they fought through, and the fight that they displayed including tonight. I’m just proud of what they have done this year,” Laurens coach Daryl Smith said.
On a 50-degree night at the school’s campus, the Stallions opened with a fake hand-off run from quarterback Zavieon McCrorey that led to a Waymond Jenerette touchdown reception.
Following two Laurens punts, the Raider defense caught a break when two big-play touchdowns were called back due to penalty flags for illegal formation and personal fouls.
The 3rd time was the charm for the opposing sideline as Caleb Sims ran for a 15-yard touchdown and Waymond Jenerette rushed for a 69-yard score as the Stallions put Laurens in a 20-0 hole. Sims had 10 carries for 128 yards and Jenerette had 5 receptions for 55 yards.
McCrorey and the South Pointe offense scored two more touchdowns to put 34 points on the board. He finished 11-of-14 for 195 yards with 2 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions.
Laurens blocked a South Pointe punt during the 2nd quarter, forcing a fumble from Sims, and getting 2 interceptions from McCrorey.
One of the interceptions turned into a gem for Laurens when James Rawl connected with Jay Pulley for a 42-yard touchdown for the Raiders’ only score in the 1st half. Rawl was 25 of 39 for 270 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions.
A near-disaster occurred at the end of the 1st half when James Rawl threw an interception to South Pointe defensive back Chris Mccullough, who returned it down the sideline.
“It was frustrating, but they are a really good team. They got a lot of speed and they were just a little bit better tonight. They just got up on us early and we weren’t able to get back in it,” Smith said.
The Stallions added rushing touchdowns from Sims and Aiden Turner in the 3rd and 4th quarters.
Ty Roberson added a 10-yard rushing touchdown and Jayden McGowan scored on a 19-yard touchdown reception from Rawlin the 2nd half. Roberson finished with 14 carries for 73 yards and McGowan 11 receptions for 94.
South Pointe (9-1) advances to face Greenwood while Laurens (6-4) is eliminated.
“We’re proud of them, we love them, and we tell them ‘thank you’ for their time and effort into everything,” Smith said. “In the offseason, there are a lot of things that we need to improve on and we'll get back to work on that. For these underclassmen, they will be ready to go next year and they’ll improve. We’ve seen a lot of improvements from them this year and I’m sure we will keep seeing that.”