LAURINBURG — The Scotland High School football team traveled to Pinecrest High School Tuesday to participate in 7-on-7 drills against two other area schools — Terry Sanford and Pine Forest.
The drills are geared towards helping quarterbacks and wide receivers work on their timing and routes. On the defensive side, it helps linebackers and corner backs work on covering the different routes and learning how to read the quarterback.
Even though Scotland attended the drills head coach Richard Bailey was quick to point out they weren’t going to blow anyone away with their passing game.
“This isn’t really our thing, we run the ball so this is much better for our defense than our offense,” Bailey said.
With junior running back Zamir White in the backfield putting up record-setting numbers — 260 carries for 2,159 yards and 41 rushing touchdowns in 2015, according to 247sports.com’s scouting report — the Scots don’t rely on the pass as much as other teams.
“Like any good team you have to be able to throw the ball, but we’re not one of those teams that’s going to throw 30 times,” Bailey said. “We might throw it 12 times, but we need those 12 to be very effective. So this helps our quarterback gain confidence.”
Scotland senior Sergio Gibson will start under center this season after being the back-up quarterback to Dashaun Ferguson in 2015. Gibson quarterbacked three games last season for the Scots after an injury sidelined Ferguson.
Gibson threw for 318 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in his three starts.
On Tuesday morning, the senior quarterback looked more poised as he went through plays with his receivers. Gibson tried several deep passes, some had too much hang time for Friday nights at Pate Stadium, but were caught during the drills by the Scot receivers in spite of heavy traffic.
Bailey noted a change in the demeanor of his quarterback and how this season Gibson has more poise.
“Sergio has been our quarterback all spring and summer and he’s going to go into the year with a lot more confidence,” Bailey said. “He’ll be better this year than in the three games he played last year — even though we did win those three games. He’s got a little swagger about him. He feels like he can be successful. As a coaching staff we have way more confidence in him after this spring and summer. We feel good about him and how he’s been playing.”
The Scots defense looked sharper than their offense, but still got an earful from special teams coaches when opponents receivers went unblocked or broke free of their coverage.
The scorching heat didn’t keep Scotland’s coaches from expecting the most of out their players, telling them to “get your motor running.”
The drills were really just a chance for the Scots to take the field against players that weren’t rocking the blue and white. Bailey said he doesn’t put much stock into how his players perform during the drills, he sees it more as a break from the repetitiveness of their daily practices.
“It gets kind of redundant just playing against ourselves all the time. So it’s nice to get some different looks, see some other types of routes,” said Bailey.
Coach Bailey and the Scots will be hosting three area teams — Terry Sanford, Fairmont and Purnell Swett — tonight at 6 p.m. at Scotland High School for a second round of 7-on-7 drills.
“We’ll have that our practice fields and play against some other teams and see how we do,” Bailey said.
Tonight’s 7-on-7 drills will be the last of the season for the Scots as they enter the second NCHSAA dead period next week. The first official day of football practice will be Aug. 1 beginning at 8 a.m.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.