LAURINBURG — Friday night’s season-opening contest started with a bang — and that was before a lightning delay forced Scotland and South View to the locker room one minute and 29 seconds into the game.
It ended without any drama, though, as the Scots rolled to 47-25 victory thanks to a prolific performance by sophomore tailback Zamir White and the surprising play of junior backup quarterback Sergio Gibson.
The clouds opened up and rain began to fall as soon as both teams lined up for the kickoff, which South View’s Cam Pemberton returned 98 yards for a touchdown. Then, the Scots responded with a score of their own when Gibson found Randy Leak for a 26-yard pass to give the host a 7-6 lead with 10:31 remaining in the quarter.
That’s when lightning struck and thunder rumbled above Pate Stadium for a half-hour as fans evacuated the stands and both teams retreated from the elements before retaking the field nearly an hour later.
After the delay, Scotland’s defense forced a turnover on downs. On the second play of the Scots’ offensive possession, White turned the corner on a toss play and sprinted down the Scots’ sidelines for 80-yard touchdown run in what was just the start of his huge night.
A Tigers’ fumble on the following possession allowed Scotland to get the ball back in its own territory and Gibson found Leak again, this time on a slant pattern, for a 31-yard touchdown to give the Scots a two score lead.
South View answered the next time it got the ball back as Pemberton capped a long drive with an 11-yard score on a run out of the Wildcat formation to begin the second quarter.
But that was as close as the Tigers would get.
Gibson found White for a 14-yard touchdown pass on 4th down to increase the Scots’ lead to two scores, then White scored on the ground from 14 yards out to send Scotland into halftime leading 34-12.
White totaled 186 rushing yards and 24 receiving yards before intermission, and on the opening drive of the second half, he carried the ball four straight times for 66 yards and scored again from 13 yards out. He finished the contest with 276 yards from scrimmage and four total touchdowns.
Backup tailback Tyquan McNealy got in on the action as well after Scotland coach Richard Bailey subbed in some of his backups, as the senior rushed for a 52-yard score to increase Scotland’s lead to 47-12 with 7:28 remaining in the third quarter.
South View tacked on a pair of scores when the contest was out of reach — Keyonis Hopkins ran for a two-yard touchdown with 1:34 to go in the third, then Lee Bell tacked on a 41-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Scotland returns to action next Friday at Charlotte Independence while South View will host Gray’s Creek.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.