If the football Fighting Scots become a state championship contender once again this season, perhaps they can point towards week 4 as their moment of legitimacy.
The 32-6 Scotland rout of Jack Britt began from the first quarter on, as the Buccaneers looked utterly outclassed for the entirety of the game.
And as visiting Scotland fans counted down the remaining seconds left in the game, it didn’t just signify a win for Fighting Scots’ head coach Richard Bailey in his first game against his former team.
It was a statement that the Scots should still very much be in the discussion as one of the elite programs in North Carolina.
There was no touching pre-game tribute when Scotland coach Richard Bailey’s name was announced over the loud-speaker. But in the first half of play, the Jack Britt home crowd sat largely silent as Scotland dominated North Carolina’s number four-ranked Buccaneers.
After a two game stint where Scotland relied on its’ backfield production, sophomore quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe was utterly brilliant in the first half. Throwing against a vaunted Buccaneer defensive unit, Ratliffe was a perfect 10 for 10 in the opening half, including throws of 24, 29 and 47 yards.
Ratliffe’s 29 and 24 yard completions occurred on consecutive touchdown throws to TreShawn Gregory. Both were part of an 18-point Scotland first quarter that jarred the Buccaneers into several mistakes that the Fighting Scots exploited.
Scotland running back Jalen McLean also shined on the biggest stage thus far this season, gaining 32 of his 81 first-half yards on a touchdown scamper in the second quarter.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Jack Britt quarterback Mark McRae had a nightmarish first half, fumbling the first two snaps of the game with the latter converted into a safety by the Fighting Scots’ defense.
The Buccaneer offense was completely dormant in general against Scotland, compiling just 77 combined first half yards and two first downs in the first 24 minutes of regulation.
In the third quarter, Jack Britt netted their two largest offensive plays of the game on consecutive passes from McRae. The second pass, a 22-yard completion to Edmund Grant would set up a one-yard touchdown run by McRae to finally put the Buccaneers on the board.
It would be their only points of the game.
Scotland focused on running the clock down and playing conservative football in the second half. But a 13 yard touchdown pass to Gregory in the fourth quarter not only added insult to injury, but further padded Gregory’s monster game against Jack Britt. Gregory had more than 100 receiving yards on the night.
For further coverage on this game, including stats, quotes and highlights, check back in Tuesday’s edition of the Laurinburg Exchange.