Friday night started off like every other Friday night for the West Laurens and Rutland football teams.
Little did they know that they would be at Henderson Stadium a little longer than expected.
Due to terrible weather that caused three delays, a game that started promptly at 7:30 p.m. did not get over until 15 minutes after midnight. But West Laurens didn’t seem to mind, as it rolled to a 35-0 region win. Demetrius Green ran for 113 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown, and the Raiders' defense held Rutland to 114 total yards and only four first downs on the night as they rebounded from a tough loss to Baldwin a week ago.
“I think that was probably our most complete game,” said West Laurens head coach Stacy Nobles. “We wanted to come out of this game with the other team having a zero on the scoreboard, and that’s exactly what we were able to do. Our defense has been lights out all year. We turned the ball over four times in the first half last weekend and wanted to have a game where we didn’t turn it over at all, and despite the field being so wet, we accomplished that goal too. I was very proud of my football team.”
Rutland, who was coming off a great effort in a close loss to Westside a week ago, looked as if it was ready to play well again early in the game. The Hurricanes' defense forced three-and-outs the first two times West Laurens had the ball. Rutland actually had the ball inside the 20 on their first possession but a stout defense led by junior linebacker Johnny O’Neal, held on a fourth-and-2 from the 16 and Rutland never really threatened again.
Meanwhile the Raiders took Rutland's bad snap on a punt to score their first touchdown, a 2-yard run by quarterback Kaleeb Stanley. Rutland stayed in the game until late in the first half when West Laurens scored twice within three minutes, the first on a 8-yard run by Gerald Carr and then on a 41-yard scamper by Green.
Kicker Dylan Smith added all three extra points and West Laurens had a comfortable 21-0 halftime lead.After two long rain and lightning delays, West Laurens came out and quickly scored again, this time on a 55-yard run by Travosier Mitchell , and the rest of the game was spent slipping and sliding around the field. The only real bright spot for Rutland was the tough running of Montez Chaney, who ran for 73 yard on 18 carries.
O’Neal was pleased the way his team stayed focused, despite the long breaks.
“It was tough sitting back the locker room for so long, especially because the locker room was about flooded," O’Neal said with a smile. “We just all wanted to get back out there and finish the job . It was like playing in a bunch of puddles when we were kids when we finally started playing again. But it was a lot of fun and it was great to get the win and the shutout. That’s the way we need to play the rest of the year.”