The Raiders used a punishing ground game and timely passing to take control of the game in the second half and defeat the defending upper state champion TL Hanna 33-23 Friday night. The win propelled the Raiders to the Region Championship with a perfect 6-0 conference record.
After Hanna took a 6-0 lead, the Raiders would tie the score early in the second quarter. Duane Martin scored from four yards out to tie the game at 6.
Hanna would regain the lead with a field goal with 1:36 remaining in the half, but the lead would not last long.
Ryan Campbell would connect with Dee Foster, who make an acrobatic catch, for 52 yards to get the Raiders into scoring position. Zy Todd would score from two yards out with 10 seconds memaining in the half to give the Raiders a 12-9 lead at the intermission.
The Raider defense would step up big in the third quarter. The defense would stop the Yellow Jackets on their first possession of the second half, and the offense took the ball and drove down the field to expand their lead. An 85 yard drive that ate up over six minutes of the clock was capped off by one yard run by Martin. Jesus Esparza added the extra point to give the Raiders a 16-6 lead.
The Raider defense would again stop the Yellow Jackets and set up a crazy fourth quarter. The Raiders would get a third touchdown from Martin to give them a seemingly insurmountable 17 point lead.
After a Hanna touchdown cut the lead to 10 at 26-16, the Raider offense would answer. Quarterback Ryan Campbell would hit Quinn Patterson for a 17 yard touchdown pass to again stretch the lead to 17, 33-16.
The Yellow Jackets would add a late score, but it would be too little, too late. The Raiders’ 33-23 win gave them the outright Region Championship.
Campbell led the Raiders in rushing with 118 yards on 11 carries. Martin added 45 yards and three short touchdown.
The Raiders will close out the regular season with a trip to Easley on Friday. The playoffs will begin the following week with the Raiders hosting a team to be named after this week’s games.