Ray, who’s been the third back behind Troy Dendy and Duane Martin, rushed for 204 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns for an average of 8.2 yards per carry. The start and the additional reps for Ray were brought on by Troy Dendy’s injured ankle and Martin out with a concussion. Dendy did rush for 73 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown.
“Carado is an excellent back,” said Raiders head coach Chris Liner. “It’s hard to see how good these guys are when the defensive lineman is taking the handoff. No back is good until they get to the second level. We did a much better job of that tonight.”
For the game, Laurens rushed for 336 yards and passed for 112 yards. Quarterback Ryan Campbell was an efficient 13 for 18 for 82 yards. He also caught a pass from Kobe Williams for 30 yards.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Raiders played much improved from the past two weeks. The Raider defense had allowed over 1,000 yards of offense to Dorman and Hillcrest. This week, the Raiders allowed 371 yards, including 295 yards rushing.
Trey Berry rushed for 158 yards on nine carries and Rashad Luckey added 108 yards on 20 carries.
The defense gave up yards throughout the game but consistently made plays to stop Wade Hampton drives. The Raiders intercepted three passes that led to two touchdowns. Trevor Madden, Rakeem Franklin and Dra Boyd each had interceptions.
“We’ve got skill guys,” said Liner. “We’ve just got to keep working up front. That’s the place where we lost the most people and we knew that was going to be an issue. We’ve got some guys that are getting better every week.”
Wade Hampton gave the Raiders all they could handle in the first half, taking a 16-14 lead into the locker room at halftime. Berry scored the first points of the game on the first play of the second quarter. An 82-yard run gave the Generals a 7-0 lead.
Laurens answered with a 10-play drive that ended with a Campbell 5-yard scoring run.
The Generals began to pound the ball behind Luckey. The big back drove the Generals down the field on their next drive and scored on a 1-yard dive out of the wildcat formation. After a failed PAT, Wade Hampton led 13-7 with 5:49 to play in the first half.
The Raiders were 1-yard shy of punching it in on their next drive but Camden Carman was stopped just short of the goal line on a fourth down pass from Campbell.
After a stop by the Raiders defense, Laurens took over near midfield. A little trickery helped the Raiders quickly get into scoring position. Campbell lateraled to Kobe Williams who then tossed it back across the field to a wide-open Campbell for a 30-yard reception. On the next play, Dendy scored on a 21-yard run to put the Raiders on top 14-13.
With 5.4 seconds to play in the first half, Sebastian Garcia kicked a 52-yard field goal to give Wade Hampton a 16-14 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Boyd’s interception led to an 8-yard scoring run from Ray with 4 minutes remaining in the third quarter. Ray followed up that score with a 3-yard scoring run on the Raiders next drive. Franklin’s pick in the fourth quarter set up Ray for the trifecta of touchdowns, this time for 30 yards and the 32-16 win.
“I’m excited for the guys because they’ve worked too hard to have something to show for it,” said Liner. “Maybe this will springboard us forward and give us some confidence that we need.”
Laurens improves to 2-5 overall and 1-1 in region play. They will host Riverside on Friday night at 7:30pm. Wade Hampton falls to 2-5.