Boys Varsity Football · Raiders Rally Late to Defeat Westside 20-17


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17 Westside High School
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20 Laurens District 55 High School
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The Raiders’ first lead of the game came with 2:09 remaining in the final quarter as Isaac Craig picked up a partially blocked punt and raced 66 yards for the go ahead touchdown to lead the Raiders to a 20-17 victory Friday night at KC Hanna Stadium.

The Raiders fell behind 7-0 in the first quarter, but that Ram lead would not last long. On the second play after falling behind, quarterback Ryan Campbell raced 76 yards for the touchdown. Juan Esparza added the extra point for a 7-7 tie.

The defenses controlled most of the second quarter, but the Rams were able to put together a drive late in the quarter, and a field goal with 19 seconds remaining in the half gave the Rams a 10-7 lead at the break.

The Rams would add to their lead as they took the second half kickoff and marched down the field. A drive of over seven minutes resulted in their second touchdown of the night and a 17-7 lead.

The Raiders would begin their rally in the fourth quarter. A 68 yard drive was capped off by Campbell’s second touchdown of the night. Esparza’s PAT cut the lead to 17-14.

The Raiders looked to be driving for the go ahead score on their next possession, but a penalty on fourth down stopped the drive.

The Raider defense rose to the occasion and forced a punt. Senior Garrett Addy partially blocked the punt, and Craig was in the right place at the right time as he scooped up the punt and returned it 66 yards down the opposing sideline for the score with 2:09 remaining in the contest. The extra point was missed, leaving the Raiders with a three point cushion and a 20-17 lead.

The defense allowed the Rams to get close to field goal range in the waning seconds. Jayden McGowan knocked a pass down in the end zone to thwart one attempt to score. On fourth down, the Rams lined up for a 46 yard field goal to tie the game, but a strong Raider rush caused the attempt to come up short, preserving the Raider victory.

The Raiders (4-1, 3-0) were led on the ground by Campbell’s 132 yards on 16 carries. Jeremiah Fuller added 58 yards on the ground.

The Raiders will travel to Woodmont in a clash of the last two remaining teams with perfect records in the region on Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30.