The Raiders played BHP and Strom Thurmond for two quarters each of 24 minutes of running clock in a simulated game. All three teams kicked extra points and punted but those plays were not live.
Here are some observations from seeing the Raiders first live action of 2017:
- Ryan Campbell punted for the Raiders. The sophomore quarterback did not punt last season but did a good job punting on Friday night.
- Running back Troy Dendy fumbled on the second possession against BHP and the Bears returned it for a touchdown. Dendy did not return until the Raiders played Strom Thurmond in the second quarter. Dendy broke off a few nice runs in the third quarter against BHP but otherwise was not much of a factor.
- Former LDHS trainer Barry Atkinson was on the Raiders sideline talking with former LDHS head coach and current Strom Thurmond athletic director Doug Painter.
- A few guys played both ways for the Raiders. Duane Martin played linebacker and running back. Chris Jackson played receiver and stand-up defensive end. Carado Ray played running back and defensive back. Trevor Madden played receiver and defensive back.
- Defensive backs Braylen Williams and Carado Ray worked sideline to sideline making plays for the Raiders defense against Strom Thurmond in the second quarter.
- The offensive play of the night for Laurens was a hook-and-ladder play that took them down to the 2-yard line. Campbell completed a pass to Aaron McLeod who then pitched to Dendy. Dendy scored from two yards out on the next play against Strom Thurmond.
- Strom Thurmond completed a nice touchdown pass in the back of the endzone against double coverage by the Raiders.
- Linebacker Jaylon Massey had two sacks and a tackle for loss for the Raiders. He was one of a few bright spots for the Raiders defense that seemed to play reactive instead of trying to be on the offensive. A lot of arm tackling and shirt grabbing from the Raiders instead of running through people.
- The Laurens defensive line struggled staying onsides throughout the scrimmage. The Raiders were flagged multiple times for either lining up offsides or jumping offsides.
- Raiders slot receiver Will Tinsley was a go-to guy for Campbell. Tinsley made several nice catches and picked up good yards after the catch. Tinsley is made in the mold of a Hunter Refrow/Adam Humphries type of receiver.
- The Raiders offense had a nice flow in their first series against BHP in the third quarter. A check at the line of scrimmage and a change of plays seemed to kill their rhythm, forcing a turnover on downs.
- Campbell connected with Jackson on a 15-yard touchdown pass in the final quarter against Strom Thurmond.
The Raiders return to action on Tuesday night at home against Byrnes at 5:30pm.