Scots Shred Patriots
On the same field two years ago, Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger predicted the ascension in 2011 of a then-young Scotland High team the Patriots defeated 31-13.
The first half of Friday night’s football game in Laurinburg was a perfect storm of all the things that couldn’t happen for the Patriots to have a chance to upset a Scot squad that is now a consensus top-five team in the state.
The homecoming night celebrants, now 7-0, broke big plays and took advantage of Patriot turnovers on the way to a 34-10 halftime advantage. The final outcome was a 41-17 defeat for a Patriot squad that turned the ball over five times in all.
Pinecrest Football at Scotland
The Patriots were defeated 41-17 by No.3 ranked Scotland Friday in an Southeastern Conference contest Friday in Laurinburg. With the loss, Pincrest's record moved to 0-3 in SEC action and 3-5 on the season. Photos by Philip Taylor.
A silver lining for the Patriots, 3-5 overall and 0-2 in the Southeastern Conference, was a defense that turned the Scots away two of three times inside their 10-yard line in the third quarter and allowed only seven second-half points.
“They’re just a very good ball club and we made a lot of mistakes,” Metzger said. “We’ve got to really get a lot better on offense and all the way around.”
The Patriots stayed within the same area code of the Scots for one quarter.
A 23-yard scamper by quarterback Kwashaun Quick capped a 53-yard scoring drive for the Scots on the first possession of the game. An outstanding catch by wide receiver Traivon Williams on a pass from Travis Scales for a 26-yard gain helped set the Patriots up for a 40-yard field goal by Jackson Maples, making it 7-3.
That accomplishment was quickly countered by a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Isaiah Robinson and the conversion by Aaron Stevens that increased the Scot lead to 14-3. But on the next Patriot possession, Williams went high for a grab on another throw from Scales and turned it into a 46-yard gain to the Scot 22.
The progress ended there with a fumble (recovered by the offense), a false start and a sack. Maples struck the ball solidly on a 42-yard field goal attempt, but it went wide.
The Pats turned the ball over the next two times they had the ball. The Scots took advantage, turning both into touchdowns and a 27-3 lead. An 80-yard kickoff return down the right sideline for a touchdown by Tavis Pearson made it 27-10 with less than a minute remaining until the intermission.
The Patriot elation was quickly undone by the talented Quick. Scrambling from the Scot 37, the Patriot pass defense was sucked in by the threat of the run. That left running back Caison Murphy wide-open downfield and Quick connected with him on a 63-yard scoring play.
A fumble and an interception put the Scots in business at the Patriot 10- and 13-yard lines, respectively, at the start of the third quarter. They got inside the five both times, but the Patriot defense held on downs. The next time the Scots had the ball, Zayrick Boyd recovered a fumble for the Patriots.
“We told them before we went out for the first goal-line stand that this is where you find out who are the players,” defensive coordinator Jason Sparks said. “Not playmakers, just guys who are going to buck up and get the job done. And we did. We found out.”
A fumble off a high snap gave the Scots a start from the Patriot 18, leading to the third touchdown pass of the game thrown by Quick. On a rough night for Scales, he was about to be sacked for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter before escaping to score the final touchdown of the contest.
The Patriot running attack was stopped for the first time this season. Scales accounted for 37 of the team’s 80 yards gained on the ground. He and Aaron Reimer combined to complete 12 of 24 passes for 169 yards, with Williams hauling in four of them for 86.
The Patriots entertain Purnell Swett (3-4, 0-2) on homecoming night this coming Friday. The Rams lost 42-41 to Richmond Senior when a two-point conversion attempt failed. In the other league game, Lumberton remained undefeated after a 30-20 victory over Hoke County.
Pinecrest 3 7 0 7 — 17
Scotland 14 20 7 0 — 41
Scoring: (S) Quick 23-run (Stevens kick); (P) Maples 40-FG; (S) Robinson 95-kickoff return (Stevens kick); (S) McRae 10-run (kick blocked); Murphy 34-pass from Quick (Stevens kick); (P) Pearson 80-kickoff return (Maples kick); (S) Murphy 63-pass from Quick (Stevens kick); (S) Pegues 2-pass from Quick (Stevens kick); (P) Scales 9-run (Maples kick)
Team stats: First downs – (P) 11 (S) 10; Rushing – (P) 33-80 (S) 30-136; Passing – (P) 12-24, 169 yds. 2 int. (S) 9-15, 134 yds., 3 tds., int.; Penalties – (P) 5-36 (S) 8-80; Fumbles - (P) 4-3 (S) 1-1
Individual stat leaders: Rushing – (P) Scales 19-37, Dw. Simpson 6-20, Strickland 3-21, Pearson 4-13 (S) Quick 6-57, McRae 10-57; Passing – (P) Scales 6-13, 117 yds., 2 int., Reimer 6-11, 52 yds. (S) Quick 8-12, 133, 3 tds. , Davis 1-4, 1 yd., int.; Receiving – (P) Williams 4-86, Ray 3-28, White 2-32 (S) Murphy 4-104, Pegues 2-23
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