The Lanier Longhorns pulled off a 25-21 win in their Region 8-AAAAAA opener against Habersham Central on the road Friday night, Sept. 23.

In the first half, Habersham would score two touchdowns while Lanier managed to score one touchdown that came in the first quarter. Junior quarterback Preston Ratliff connected with sophomore Logan Laughlin for a 61-yard touchdown pass. Laughlin had four carries on the night for a total of 118 yards.

The Raiders got a third touchdown with 1:15 left in the third quarter when Zeke Whittington scored on a 9-yard run into the end zone.

Lanier would have an answer to that touchdown with its very own touchdown courtesy of a 33-yard touchdown pass from Ratliff to junior Chase Jameson. Ratliff was 11-for-18 passing for a total of 180 yards and two touchdowns for the game.

The score was 21-13 in favor of the Raiders going into the fourth quarter. The Longhorns would snatch the game from the Raiders with a 53-yard touchdown run from senior running back Kaden Beard and a 1-yard rushing touchdown from junior Tayo Ashadele.

Habersham Central tried its best to score a few more points before the clock ran out but it was not meant to be as the Raiders’ quarterback Carson Parker received a bad snap causing him to be picked off by Lanier’s Marco Rosas and ending any hope of a comeback. Lanier would take home the win with a final score of 25-21.

Beard had 29 carries for a total of 253 yards and a touchdown in the matchup, while Ashadele ended up with 29 yards and a touchdown on seven carries.

Lanier had 463 total yards, four touchdowns and a turnover getting a 1-0 start in the region.

The Longhorns will face another region opponent next Friday, Sept. 30, at Jackson County.

FEATURED PHOTO: No. 8 Kaden Beard racked up 253 yard and a touchdown on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Lanier’s win over Habersham Central in Mt. Airy. Photo by Amber Miles.

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