LUMBERTON — Scotland did what good programs do Friday night in Lumberton.
It took care of an opponent it was supposed to beat in business-like fashion.
The Scots didn’t get caught looking ahead to next week’s rivalry showdown with Richmond Senior, scoring the first 28 points of the game in a 48-3 victory against the host Pirates.
Lumberton celebrated Senior Night pregame, but it was Scotland which left the field in a festive mood after the final whistle. The Scots improved to 10-0 overall and 4-0 in the Southeastern Conference, and the loss dropped the Pirates to 4-6 and 1-3 in conference play.
Scotland took control of the contest on its opening possession as Zamir White rushed for one of three first-quarter scores when he found the end zone from one yard out. He added touchdown runs of 41 yards and six yards before the quarter ended to give the Scots a commanding 21-0 advantage heading into the second.
The Scots’ defense forced the Pirates to punt on both of their offensive series in the opening quarter — Lumberton converted its first first down of the game early in the second quarter when quarterback Braylan Grice rushed for a four-yard gain.
The Pirates drove the ball inside Scotland’s 20 on that possession, but on fourth down Grice rifled a pass into the opportunistic hands of linebacker Jonathan Smith for the interception.
“Our defense played lights out tonight, Jonathan Smith was everywhere,” said Scotland coach Richard Bailey. “They did a great job.”
The Scots capitalized on the turnover three plays later when Dashaun Ferguson found Randy Leak for a 42-yard touchdown to put Scotland on top 28-0 with 7:11 remaining before halftime.
“I think we did a good job of mixing it up again,” Bailey said. “Zamir had another 100-yard game and a couple touchdowns, and we threw some touchdown passes. We’re trying to keep that balance.”
Lumberton finally found a spark when Carey Carter returned the ensuing kickoff 88 yards to the Scotland 12-yard line, but he was tackled by kicker Grant Ciarrocca before he reached the end zone. The Scotland players erupted in celebration and enthusiastically congratulated the junior kicker when he returned to the sideline.
“I was proud of Grant, he hustled and caught him but you can’t allow those things to happen,” Bailey said. “While it was great for Grant, it wasn’t great for me because I don’t like my kicker making any special teams tackles.”
The stop ended up saving the Scots four potential points as the Pirates stalled inside the red zone and had to settle for a field goal attempt. Will Osman booted a 36-yard field goal through the uprights to close the gap to 28-3.
Scotland tacked on one more touchdown before the half ended when Ferguson threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Willie Douglas. The extra point was blocked, but it was a point the Scots wouldn’t need.
They opened the second half with another touchdown after the offense was set up in prime field position. Lumberton was supposed to receive the ball after the break, but miscommunication among the players on a pooch kick led to a Scotland recovery.
Ferguson rushed for a 5-yard touchdown two plays later to cap the night for Scotland’s first-team offense.
The second- and third-team units also had success — backup quarterback Sergio Gibson tossed a 10-yard touchdown to Barry Campbell, and the defense kept the Pirates off the scoreboard the rest of the game.
Lumberton coach Mike Setzer said it was a “sad” night for his team, especially for a senior group that has stuck with the program through tough times.
“They’ll be a group that we’ll look back on and say they really are the foundation of what we’re trying and they bought in,” Setzer said. “I’m so proud of them, they’re a great group of guys.”
Richmond defeated Pinecrest 49-28 in Southern Pines in the SEC’s marquee matchup of the week, setting up a winner-take-all game with Scotland for the conference championship next Friday.
“Hats go off to the Raiders, they handled business and we’re going to decide it at Pate Stadium,” Bailey said. “Would you really want it any other way?”
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.