The Defense Hangs Tough

McGowan is Oct. 9 Player of the Week   The Laurens County Touchdown Club announces that for the week of October 9th the Player of the Week is Laurens District 55 High School’s Jayden McGowan, a junior defensive back/wide receiver for the Laurens Raiders. Playing both ways for the Raiders last Friday night against Eastside, McGowan had a tremendous game in helping lead the Raiders to their first win of the season. The Laurens Raiders defeated Eastside 24-16 at K.C. Hanna Stadium. Offensively, in scoring two touchdowns on the night for the Raiders, McGowan ran for 84 yards, including an 80 yard run in the fourth quarter. Jayden also had two receptions for 27 yards, in which also included his first TD of the night, a 26 yard pass reception that put the Raiders ahead just after halftime. It was a lead that the Raiders never relinquished. McGowan also ran a kickoff return for 25 yards. Defensively, McGowan played outstanding from his cornerback position, recording 4 tackles and several pass break ups. Jayden McGowan’s ability to play both offense and defense for the Raiders is a key component to the Raiders game plan every Friday night, the coaches said. The Laurens County Touchdown Club will honor Jayden at the Touchdown Club meeting on October 22nd, at which time legendary high school football coach Shell Dula will be the featured speaker; Dula is now the executive director of the South Carolina Coaches Association. Previous week honorees by the Touchdown Club are Judson Watkins, Thomas Lowry, Diamonte Grant, Carson Venable of Laurens Academy and Hezekiah Kinard and Jykorie Gary of Clinton High School.  

PANTHERS SHAKE OFF A FIRST HALF STALEMATE -- Defending state champs defeat gutsy Red Devils in second half (action photos).




By Vic MacDonald



Chapman shifted to the jumbo package, from its traditional offense that was blanketed by the Clinton defense, for a couple of important first downs and a score, as the #3 in the state Panthers shook off the visiting Red Devils, 24-8, in Friday night’s high school football action.

At one point in the 0-0 first half, Clinton had 72 yards of offense to Chapman’s 9.

Clinton forced 6 Chapman first half punts.

Winners of 49 of 51 games coming into the AAA action, Chapman finally shook off the rust with more than 200 yards of offense and 24 2nd half points, scoring on the first drive of the 2nd half. Clinton scored right back – a 99-yard kickoff return by Jykorie Gary, called back on the Chapman home field by a holding call.

From there, Clinton could not sustain offensive drives, and left the defense out there too long. Clinton scored with 37 seconds left in the game – a Kimon Quarles catch of a Davis Wilson shovel-pass and 2 pt conversion rule by Wilson.

“We have to finish drives,” Clinton football head coach Corey Fountain said.

Shy Kinard led Clinton runners with 78 yards. The yardage was even closer than the final score – Chapman had 243, Clinton had 236 yards of total offense.

The Red Devil defensive secondary held up well, limiting Chapman to 62 yards passing.

“The plan was to sustain drives, eat clock, and keep the ball out of their hands,” Fountain said.

Clinton quarterbacks threw 27 passes to compliment the run game but suffered two interceptions. One pick led to a Chapman return to the Clinton 10 and the Panthers’ final TD with 5 minutes left on the game clock.

The Red Devils, 1-2, have 2 weeks to prepare for region title contender Woodruff, set for Homecoming Oct. 23 at Wilder Stadium. Woodruff defeated Emerald Friday night, and Union County-Broome was postponed by COVID-19 cases (just as Clinton’s season-opening game against Union County was postponed).



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