SEC iHigh Sites
SEC Football Schedules
Scots Rock Raiders
October 29, 2011Southeastern Conference
LAURINBURG — For at least one night, 17 years of frustration was wiped away.
Scotland County competed an undefeated regular season and captured the Southeastern Conference title with a 41-7 victory over Richmond County Friday night in front a crowd of nearly 11,000 people at Pate Stadium.
“We had a good game plan,” Scotland County coach Chip Williams said. “Anytime you win the SEC you are doing something. I think this conference has the best coaches in it. I’m not taking anything away from the other conferences I coached in, but I think this is the best.”
The conference title completes a turnaround for the Scotland County program. Two years ago, the Fighting Scots finished with a 2-9 overall record and finished last in the SEC with an 0-5 record. Scotland County becomes the first school besides Richmond to win a conference title since the SEC was reformed three years ago.
The Fighting Scots (10-0, 5-0) had not defeated the Raiders since a 21-14 victory in the 1994 season, but it didn’t take long for this year’s team to ensure the streak wouldn’t extend another year.
Scotland County marched 68 yards in five plays on the opening drive to take a 7-0 lead. Kwashaun Quick connected with Tony McRae for a 29-yard screen pass on the game’s first play to set the tone. Caison Murphy broke away from the Richmond defense for a 24-yard run to put the ball at the Raider 15. Three plays later, McRae scored from 11 yards out to begin the onslaught.
After the teams exchanged punts, Richmond (8-2, 3-2) put together its best drive of the night and marched deep into Scotland territory. The Raiders started the possession at their own 36 and after five straight running plays, elected to go to the air on first down at the Scotland 24. Brent Flowers’ pass to Shun Bloomfield was intercepted by Scotland County’s Isiah Robinson for a touchback ending the threat.
With starting running back and leading scorer Dakwa Nichols out for the season with a broken bone in his foot, the Raiders struggled to find its rhythm against the conference’s top scoring defense. In addition to the loss of Nichols, Steve Houston, Richmond’s leading rusher, missed the second half because of an injury.
Without its top two rushers, the Raiders managed 181 yards of total offense, including just 86 yards in seven first-half possessions.
“You don’t want to make excuses, but Dakwa is a big part of our offense,” Richmond coach Paul Hoggard said. “They are such a great football team that we knew we had to play well to stay in the game, but we didn’t.”
Following the Flowers interception, Scotland County extended its advantage to 14 when Quick went down the right sideline for a 43-yard touchdown to cap a quick four-play, 80-yard drive.
The odds-on favorite to capture the conference’s player of the year honor, Quick finished the night with 318 yards of total offense, with one rushing and one passing touchdown. McRae added 75 rushing yards, 96 receiving yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
The Raiders avoided being held scoreless when backup quarterback Antonio Edens tossed a 12-yard scoring strike to Raheem Bowden with 3:24 left in the game.
“Things just got out of hand,” Hoggard said. “At least we were kept from being shutout. I’m pleased with what the second-team offense did out there and moved the football.”
Both teams will learn its postseason fate later today when the North Carolina High School Athletic Association releases the playoff brackets.