West Laurens dominated from the outset in a game it had to have as the Raiders scored on all six first-half possessions to run away from Perry 42-6 on Friday night in the GHSA Region 2-4A finale for both teams.
The Raiders (6-4, 3-2 Region 2-4A) did what they wanted, when they wanted.
West Laurens ran for 316 yards on 20 carries in the first half. Running back Darius Bradford had the first five touchdowns of the game on his way to ending his night at the half with 134 yards on the ground.
Perry (3-7, 1-4) managed just 58 yards of offense and two first downs in the first half. The Panthers also lost a fumble and failed to recover two kickoffs, handing the ball directly back to West Laurens after Raiders touchdowns.
Thanks to Spalding’s 43-33 victory over Upson-Lee, West Laurens wins a three-way tiebreaker for second place in the region and will play at home in the first round of the GHSA playoffs.
Three who mattered
Bradford: Along with his five touchdowns, the West Laurens tailback averaged 8.9 yards per carry. He also had a 46-yard touchdown called back in the second quarter on a holding penalty behind the play.
Isaiah Morgan: Bradford’s understudy carried seven times for 92 yards. His 10-yard touchdown just shy of halftime concluded the scoring for West Laurens.
Raiders defense: The West Laurens starters were dominant after being stunned by a 42-point outburst from Upson-Lee last week. The Raiders’ reserves didn’t lose the shutout bid until late in the fourth quarter on an 83-yard touchdown pass.
That’s a stat: West Laurens scored more touchdowns in the second quarter than Perry ran offensive plays. The Raiders found the end zone four times in the quarter, while Perry went three-and-out on its only offensive possession. Two failed recoveries on West Laurens kickoffs denied the Panthers a pair of offensive drives. Perry ran just 21 plays in the entire game as West Laurens controlled the opening half and secured the running clock after the break.
They said it
West Laurens head coach Stacy Nobles on his team’s bounce-back performance: “My hat’s off to them. They responded like champions just like I knew they would.”
Nobles on the dominant opening half: “That was the most complete half we’ve played this year. We were dominant in the first half against Spalding, but not to that point. With six touchdowns on six possessions, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Nobles on his team’s up and down regular season: “If we do what we’re capable of doing, then we’re a dang good football team. If we don’t, then we’re average. If we protect the football, then we’re a good football team, and we showed that (Friday).”
West Laurens hosts Luella in the first round