Pinecrest, Scotland in Search of Redemption
Heading into tonight's Pinecrest at Scotland County football game, here's a timely question for coaches, players and fans.
Which was harder to swallow and tougher to bounce back from, a 45-14 trouncing like the Patriots took at Lumberton, or the victory the Scots had snatched away in a 38-37 loss to Purnell Swett?
"Well I'll tell you," Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger said, buying a few extra seconds to think about it, "we would just rather come out on top. Definitely they're both painful, not the end-all, but obviously painful when you want to be competitive."
The Patriots are 6-1 overall and 0-1 in the Southeastern Conference heading into tonight's game. The Scots are 2-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play and have lost to three teams that are currently 7-0 in Purnell Swett, Jack Britt and Marlboro County (S.C.). Their wins are over defending 4A state champion Seventy-First and a J.H. Rose team that is 4-2.
Last Friday night's agonizing loss to Swett came when the Scots elected to run one more play from the Ram 10-yard line with no time outs and 10.9 seconds remaining in the game, as opposed to attempting a potential game-winning field goal.
Scot quarterback Kwashawn Quick was tackled before he could do anything with the ball and time ran out.
Quick, a sophomore, and backfield mates Caison Murphy and Tony McRae, each rushed for over 100 yards in the game.
"Quick is an unbelievable sophomore," Metzger said. "They had 400 yards rushing against Purnell Swett and they're absolutely playing great ball. And they're a young team that has without a doubt the toughest schedule in the state.
"We're going to have to play the best ball we've played to date. We have to make them punt, and that's something they (Lumberton) did not do a lot of Friday night."
The Patriots fell behind 17-0 early at Lumberton. The Pirates recovered two of their own kickoffs and had an interception return for a touchdown. The Patriot defense surrendered more than 400 yards.
"That was not a very stellar performance by us," the Patriot coach said. "All the things that have led to our success in games were the reasons we were not successful. We handed them 31 points, and you can't do that."
The Patriots defeated Scotland 31-7 at home last year for their first win over the Scots since 1996 and first conference victory since 2002. They went on to defeat Richmond Senior and Hoke in the next two games.
Metzger, who is in his third year at Pinecrest, was asked how his players responded this week to the loss at Lumberton.
"Friday night we were here really late and had a great family meeting," he said. "We just realized we needed to do things the Pinecrest way. We need to play more heads up and play the kind of ball we've been working toward playing since March of 2007."
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