LAUREL HILL — Carver Middle School capped off its undefeated season with a conference championship Wednesday, defeating Anson County 24-0 in the final game.
Carver captured its second consecutive Southeastern Conference championship and sixth title overall by dominating on both sides of the ball Wednesday evening. Janoah McRae scored two touchdowns for the Eagles, while Zamar White and Davon Ratcliffe each added a score.
The Eagles, led by coach James McLean, finished the year 7-0 overall. The defense only allowed 14 total points in all of those games — six to West Hoke and eight to Sandy Grove.
McLean said the team was able to bring home the title by dedicating itself in practice every week.
“They worked so hard. We worked harder than any team I’ve ever seen,” McLean said.
Wednesday’s game was a rematch of the season-opener, when Carver traveled to Anson and came away with a 14-0 win. Anson only lost twice this year — both to Carver.
Carver only led 6-0 at halftime of the championship after a punt returned for a score was taken off for a block in the back. However, McLean said he was confident the team could lean on its defense to protect the lead. And they did.
White scored his touchdown on Carver’s opening drive of the second half, and the Eagles poured it on after that, collecting a safety and another touchdown.
Before and after each game this year, McLean has led his team onto the field and walked down the sideline in single-file. Even Wednesday, after celebrating and taking photos in front of the scoreboard, the Eagles walked the line. McLean said it is all part of promoting the team aspect of the game.
“I’m a firm believer in discipline. If we can get them disciplined everything else falls into place. The whole concept about walking the white line is just to let the other teams know we’re here, we’re ready to play with discipline and not go out there chatty, because our expectation is to win the championship,” McLean said. “We walk in as one line, one group with one mindset and one heartbeat and it’s a team.”
McLean praised his side’s teamwork after the game, pointing out the jerseys say Carver on the front, while the backs are plain.
“We just keep pushing that to help these guys grow up to be responsible young men. Football goes away sooner or later but being responsible is something nobody can take away from you,” McLean said.
The Southeastern Conference is made up of schools from Scotland, Richmond, Hoke and Anson counties.