Patriot Jayvees Fall in Battle of Unbeatens
A late touchdown by Scotland County saddled Pinecrest with a 12-8 loss in a battle between unbeaten junior varsity football teams in Laurinburg Thursday evening.
The Patriots scored first on a 30 yard run by Raphael Alston on the first play of the second quarter. Alston also carried for the two-point conversion, giving the visitors an 8-0 lead.
A long punt return set up a Scot touchdown midway through the second period. Quarterback Caison Murphy carried the ball in from the five. A conversion pass was incomplete.
The Patriots showed signs of answering when Alston returned the ensuing kickoff 44 yards to the Scotland 41. They moved the ball to the 27 before a penalty set them back 10 yards and they were forced to punt.
On the last play of the first half, the Scots' Isaiah Robinson intercepted a pass on his own 25 and returned it 50 yards before the Pats' Maurice Ervin made the saving tackle.
The Patriots' best chance to increase their 8-6 advantage came late in the third period. Quarterback Kyle Ocheltree connected with Marshall Smith over the middle for 26 yards to the Scotland 20. But on fourth and 12 from the 22, Ocheltree was sacked for an 11-yard loss.
The two teams then traded turnovers with an interception by Lucas Stewart, setting up the home team at the Patriot 33. Eight plays later, Dalton Floyd punched it in from the two. The conversion run failed, but the Scots led 12-8 with just under four minutes remaining in the game.
That was enough time for Pinecrest to make a bid to regain the lead. Alston returned the kickoff 15 yards to his own 36. A pass from Ocheltree to Damion Pride on fourth down gave the Patriots a first down near midfield.
Moments later, Harrison Deen gained 10 yards on a pass over the middle, and 15 yards were tacked on for a facemask infraction. That gave the Patriots a first down at the Scot 29 with 1:15 remaining. But after an incompletion, the second interception of the night by Stewart ended the threat.
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