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Scots Sting Hornets Move On To Eastern 4A Finals
November 19, 2011Southeastern Conference
The Scotland High School varsity football team will continue their 2011 season into the Thanksgiving holiday, earning a spot in the 4-A state playoff’s East Regional with a 35-7 thrashing of defending state champ Durham Hillside Friday night at Pate Stadium.
Scotland’s defense limited Hillside standout running back Khris Fransis to just 71 yards on 24 carries, while the Fighting Scots (13-0) scored 35 unanswered-points to open up the game for their 13th victory of the season.
The win gave Scotland head coach Chip Williams the 250th victory of his career, while setting up a matchup with Williams’ former ball club, New Bern, for a berth to the state title game.
“I tell you what, our coaches have done just an awesome job all year round,” Williams said. “(We were) a well prepared football team. With that being said, our players gave a lot of effort tonight. They did what the coaches asked them to do and it showed. They made beating a defending state champ look somewhat easy. I mean no disrespect to Durham Hillside.”
Tony McRae led Scotland with 160 yards and two touchdowns on the ground on 18 carries, while quarterback Kwashaun Quick threw for 101 yards and three scores through the air.
Scotland’s steady defensive unit held their second consecutive postseason opponent under double-digits, while using a pair of 4th-down defensive stands in the Fighting Scots’ red zone.
“We saw what they were in and we tried to take what the defense (gave) us,” Williams said. “That’s pretty much been our game plan all year. Passing didn’t go quite as well as we hoped this evening, but we completed them when we had to. We’ll get better week to week.”
McRae got the Fighting Scots rolling on Scotland’s first offensive drive, breaking free on Scotland’s fourth play from the line of scrimmage for a 50-yard touchdown run. McRae took the handoff from Quick and broke to his right, running down the sideline before cutting the ball back inside to out-run the Hillside defense for Scotland’s first score.
With an Aaron Stevens extra point, Scotland took a 7-0 lead with 10:24 left in the first quarter, but McRae’s scoring night wasn’t over just yet, as the Fighting Scots’ running back broke free for a 7-yard run with 11:45 left in the first half to cap off a 9-play, 62-yard scoring drive. McRae’s score pushed the Fighting Scots ahead 14-0.
Scotland’s first big defensive stand came on the Hornets’ fourth drive of the game, as Hillside drove the ball down field thanks to a Scotland personal foul and pass interference call. With the ball at Scotland’s 12-yard line, the Fighting Scots’ defense stuffed Hillside on four straight plays, ending with an Isaiah Robinson pass break-up in the end zone to quell the Hornets’ threat.
Quick took to the air after the turnover-on-downs, going 3-for-5 on Scotland’s next drive for 63 yards, finding tailback Caison Murphy for a 28-yard screen pass that went for a touchdown for Scotland’s final score of the half.
With a 21-0 lead coming out of halftime, Robinson forced the Hornets’ lone turnover of the night on Hillside’s first drive in the second half, picking off Hillside quarterback Collyn Anderson to give Scotland back the ball.
Quick turned the turnover into points three plays later, hitting McRae for a 12-yard touchdown pass.
Quick added a late third-quarter score for Scotland’s final touchdown of the contest, finding Murphy all alone in the back of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Hillside’s Cinco Simmons added a late touchdown for the Hornets with 1:55 left in the game, sending an 8-yard touchdown throw to wideout Dylon Davis for the 35-7 final.
Durham Hillside head coach Antonio King gave the Fighting Scots great praise after the loss, stating that the Fighting Scots’ chances of hoisting the state title at the end of the year are as good as anyone’s.
“Tonight, we ran up against a much better team in Scotland,” King said. “You can’t take anything away from them. They left no doubt. That’s a very good team that played out there tonight. I don’t know who will win between New Bern and (New) Hanover, but that’s going to be a great game whoever gets them next. That’s a state championship quality team.”
Quick finished the game 8-for-18 with 101 yards and three touchdowns, while Murphy added 98 yards on nine carries.
Lonnel Henderson led Scotland with two tackles-for-loss, including a sack and a forced fumble.
Scotland will return to action at Pate Stadium next week when they host New Bern for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.