After 17 long years of waiting, Scotland players, coaches and fans finally know the sweet taste of victory on rivalry night, as the Fighting Scots embarrassed Richmond Senior High 41-7 at home on Senior Night to claim an out-right Southeastern Conference championship.
The blowout victory gave Scotland their 10th win of the season and their first undefeated regular season in school history, adding extra fuel to a rivalry that packed Pate Stadium with almost 10,000 fans.
Scotland running back Tony McRae paced the Fighting Scots’ lethal offense with four touchdowns, while quarterback Kwashaun Quick made the Raiders’ defense look like a wet paper bag, rushing for 187 yards on nine carries while throwing for 171 yards and a score.
Scotland’s defense held the Raiders to 185 total yards, yielding just a late touchdown with the Fighting Scots’ second unit on the field.
The win gives Scotland their first conference title since 2001 and gives the Raiders their worst loss to the Fighting Scots’ in school history, sending Richmond home with an 8-2 overall record with a 3-2 mark in conference play.
Scotland head coach Chip Williams said the win was all in part to the Fighting Scots’ effort, as they out-hustled, out-manned and out-wanted the Raiders from the opening whistle.
“I thought we gave great effort,” Williams said. “You have to when you play a team the caliber of Richmond County. Any time you play a Paul Hoggard coached team, you’re playing a well-coached team. I thought we had a good game plan coming in. We have great coaches and assistant coaches. We’re fortunate to come away with a win. We’ve been working on it for a long time and it’s about time.”
Scotland began the rout from the get-go, scoring 41 unanswered points to open the game to bury the Raiders early.
McRae began his big scoring night with 10:45 left in the first quarter, scoring on a 12-yard touchdown run on Scotland’s opening drive. Aaron Steven’s extra point gave Scotland a 7-0 lead, but the scoreboard continued to light up, as the Fighting Scots scored touchdown after touchdown after touchdown in the first half to carry a 28-0 advantage into the break.
McRae scored twice more in the half, reaching the end zone on a 6-yard scoring run and a 35-yard touchdown pass from Quick.
Quick also accounted for a pair of touchdowns in the half, running in a 43-yard quarterback keeper before hitting McRae on the screen pass for a score.
Scotland’s defense allowed just 85 yards of offense to the Raiders in the first half, but the Fighting Scots weren’t content with sitting on their big lead, scoring a pair of touchdowns in the second half to extend their lead to 41-0.
With the Raiders driving on their second possession of the third quarter, Scotland defensive back Dante Johnson pickpocketed the Raiders’ offense, jumping a screen pass for an interception. Johnson ran the interception back 20 yards for Scotland’s fifth score of the contest, giving the Fighting Scots a 35-0 lead with 6:45 left in the third.
After a Richmond 3-and-out, McRae scored Scotland’s final touchdown of the night with 5:06 left in the third quarter, crossing the goalline on an 11-yard touchdown run to finish the Fighting Scots’ slaughter.
Richmond threw a late touchdown pass to Raheem Bowden to end Scotland’s shutout bid, but by that time, fans, and players alike, had already begun celebrating Scotland’s historic victory.
“This win symbolizes everything we have been through since I’ve been here as a freshman,” Scotland linebacker Red Covington said. “When we came into a new program, it was rough, but we stuck with it and bought into what Coach Williams said. Everything he told us was going to happen, happened, and it led us to a win tonight.”
McRae, who finished with 169 all-purpose yards, said the win was one Scotland deserved.
“This means a lot to us,” McRae said. “People have been waiting 17 years for this and we’re proud we can give it to them. Now it’s time to move on and win state.”
Quick finished with 11-of-16 passing with one score and one interception.
Scotland running back Caison Murphy added 39 yards on the ground, while Scotland linebackers Ernie Robinson and Ronnie Moore finished with two tackles-for-loss apiece, with Robinson recording two sacks.
Scotland defensive back Isaiah Robinson also recorded an interception in the win.
Scotland finishes the regular season with a 10-0 mark, with a 5-0 clip in SEC action.
The Fighting Scots will return to action next week when they begin their journey for a state title.
Official state pairings will be announced this weekend, but Williams said that Scotland would be ready no matter who was their next opponent.
“We tell our team like every coach tells their team, the team last week (isn’t) going to beat the team this week,” he said. “We have to get better every week. Really, that’s what our young men have done and that’s why we are where we’re at.”