That one yard was the distance between a Wolverine receiver, Austin Parks, and the end zone. The senior caught Keegan Halloran’s pass and fumbled at the one. The ball tumbled into the end zone and out of bounds.
By rule, it was a touchback, and as a practical matter, a Raider victory.
“I thought we played together as a team,” Raider head coach Chris Liner said. “We’ve played some really good teams in the preseason, and it was good tonight just to see them play together. We were excited. We played hard, but we’ve been just a step slow, just in slightly slow motion, if that makes sense.”
In a mere two quarters, Dendy carried the ball 16 times. The rest of the team had three carries. One of them, a 13-yarder by sophomore Duane Martin, was the winning touchdown with 2:01 remaining. Devin Hubner, who had kicked a 30-yard field goal with 6:23 remaining, missed the extra point.
The two teams ran up piles of yardage, but points were hard to come by. Laurens rushed for 149 yards, but quarterback Ryan Campbell passed for only 18, even though all five of his passes were caught. One was by a Wolverine.
Woodruff, meanwhile, got 171 passing yards from Halloran, who hit 13 of his 25 aerials, spreading them around to five different receivers. The Wolverines rushed for only 20 yards and averaged two yards for each of them. Oddly, Woodruff’s lone touchdown was on a 22-yard rush – that one carry was two less than the net – by, who else, Halloran.
“For every play we gave them, they gave us one back,” Liner said. “Woodruff’s got an elite quarterback who makes you pay when you do some things you shouldn’t be doing. We came up with some big plays when we had to have them. Lots of times, that’s what defense is: bend but don’t break.”
Laurens’ victory brought down the curtain on the six-team Arthur State Bank Woodruff Showcase. Clinton defeated Blue Ridge in the opening “half,” 20-7, and Spartanburg conquered Chapman, 31-7, in the middle segment.
The Raiders final preseason tune-up will be a game-type scrimmage at York on August 18 at 7pm.