LAURINBURG — Scotland junior quarterback Sergio Gibson performed about as well as coach Richard Bailey could have hoped in his first career varsity start.
Gibson completed 6 of 10 passes for 125 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Scots to a 47-25 win last week against South View, and he said after Thursday’s practice that the week of preparation leading up to the game helped his confidence.
“I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but I knew my teammates had my back so I felt confident coming into the week,” Gibson said. “I did make mistakes, but I felt very confident about myself. I couldn’t let my teammates down because I knew they wouldn’t let me down.
“(The coaching staff) prepared me real well. Obviously I have a good head coach and coach (Keith) Wood, the quarterbacks coach, has been working with me and said I’ve been progressing better and my throwing has been getting better, so I’m glad I have this coaching staff.”
Gibson and the Scots will face a much sterner test tonight when they travel to Charlotte to play Independence at 7 p.m.
Scotland has faced a rash of injuries during the early part of the season — Gibson is starting in the place of last year’s starting signal caller Dashaun Ferguson, who will likely miss the first quarter of the year as he recovers from a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Bailey mentioned that Gibson will once again be without starting wide receiver Willie Douglas, who is nursing a severely sprained ankle. Starting safety Manny Smith will also likely miss tonight’s game, and other members of the receiving corps and secondary are battling various ailments.
“We’re pretty decimated by injuries right now,” Bailey said. “We got some kids that are going to play a little bit and play out of position or play a little bit more than they probably have been playing with hopefully good results.”
The Scots will take on Patriots team coming off a 58-6 thrashing to rival Mallard Creek. Independence was embarrassed by a team that is arguably the best in the state, and Bailey said fans shouldn’t read too much into the score because of how good the Mavericks are.
“They are a proud football team, losing like that last week to a crosstown rival stings a little bit,” Bailey said. “That score was not indicative of those two teams … . Independence had an unbelievable amount of turnovers that led to scores.
“I expect them to be much improved and they have good players. Their D-line and their linebackers are as good as anybody’s, they really are. I told my guys just because Mallard Creek blocked them with five Division I offensive linemen doesn’t mean we’re going to block them.”
Steady play from Gibson and a heavy dose of running from star tailback Zamir White will go a long way in determining if the Scots can score an important road victory.
“I have to make the right calls to the line because that was the mistake I made last game, and making the right read on pass plays,” Gibson said. “Just win, that’s all I want to do. Just win.”
Girls’ volleyball falls in 5 sets
CAMERON — For the second time this week, the Scotland girls’ volleyball team was defeated by Union Pines.
But after getting swept Monday, the Scots took the Vikings to five games Thursday before losing in the final set. Union Pines won the rematch 25-23, 14-25, 12-25, 25-23, 15-7 to improve to 4-2 while Scotland dropped to 3-2 after the loss.
The Scots will return to the court Wednesday to play Westover in Fayetteville.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.