CHARLOTTE — Scotland sophomore running back Zamir White was awarded with the U.S. Army All-American Player of the Week for his performance against South View in the season opener.
After rushing for almost 300 yards and six touchdowns in the Scots’ 42-13 victory over Independence, he could be in store for another.
White ran around, through, and over the Patriots’ defense to the tone of 296 yards on 29 carries, and he even completed one pass for 4 yards in a signature early-season win for the Scots.
Many of White’s yards came on direct snap runs of the shotgun, a look the Scots introduced in practice this week that the Patriots were clearly unprepared for.
“We played great tonight, the offensive line was incredible,” said Scotland coach Richard Bailey. “Zamir White was unbelievable. We introduced a new wrinkle, the Wildcat, and they had a hard time with that all night.”
Scotland scored the first 28 points of the game, led 28-7 at halftime, and survived a third-quarter lull to pull away for the win in the fourth.
White opened the scoring with 5-yard touchdown run on the Scots’ opening drive, then followed four minutes later with a 62-yard gallop to the end zone while lining up in the Wildcat.
The Scotland defense shut down the Patriots’ offense, forcing two punts, which allowed the Scots to get the ball back and put points on the board for a third straight possession. White scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 8:10 left in the second quarter to give Scotland a three-score lead.
Marcus Brown sacked Patriots quarterback Christian McPhail on Independence’s possession, then the Patriots kicked a 13-yard punt to set the Scots up in prime field position. White capped Scotland’s scoring in the half with a 19-yard scamper with 5:19 left in the half to put Scotland up 28-0.
Independence found some offensive momentum in the waning moments of the second quarter, as McPhail connected with Duane Perkins for a 30-yard touchdown pass to help the Patriots close within 28-7 before the break.
The Patriots then got the ball back to begin the second half and tacked on another touchdown, this time on a McPhail to Cedrick Stone 15-yard pass to close within 28-13. Scotland’s Trevon Gibson blocked the ensuing extra point.
Leading by the same score to begin the fourth, White notched his fifth touchdown run of the game on 5-yard run out of the Wildcat to increase the Scots’ lead once more.
“We felt like it gave us a great advantage because it matched up our best people against their best people,” Bailey said about the utilizing Wildcat. “With Zamir, if you reduce the amount of people you have to block, he’ll block one of them by himself by just running them over. It was just something we felt like would be effective and it obviously caught them off guard.”
Independence drove the length of the field on its following offensive drive, but Davon Ratliffe intercepted a pass in the end zone to all but seal the Scots’ victory.
White punctuated his memorable performance with a 29-yard score on 4th and 1 with 5:04 left in the contest.
The Scots improved to 2-0 on the season, while the loss dropped Independence to 0-2.
Scotland will travel to South Carolina next weekend to battle rival Marlboro County.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.