Published: 10:26 AM, Sun Aug 19, 2012
Scotland shows strength with 35-6 win over Seventy-First
LAURINBURG - The graduation of 38 seniors from last year's state 4-A championship team left some questions in the minds of Scotland fans as to what the team would offer this fall.
The Fighting Scots answered some of those questions with a decisive 35-6 win over Seventy-First at Pate Stadium on Saturday in the completion of its Week 1 contest that began Friday night.
"I think we proved that we still have some athletes here," coach Richard Bailey said.
Chief among those athletes for the Scots (1-0) was quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe. The sophomore threw for 193 yards and two touchdowns, completing 8 of 13 attempts. He added 93 yards and another pair of scores on the ground in 20 carries.
Ratliffe steps into the starting quarterback role left vacant by Kwashaun Quick, who earned Most Valuable Player honors at the state title game last season. Bailey said the two share some similarities.
"They're in the same vein," said Bailey, who was coaching his first game at Scotland after leaving Jack Britt. "Jaylend's not as fast as Kwashaun, but he's bigger, and he's got some nice little moves up the middle."
Ratliffe scored on Scotland's opening drive Friday, capping a five-play, 57-yard scoring drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.
The Falcons (0-1) ran just one offensive play, a handoff from quarterback Jamel Jolliffe to back Marques Lock, who fumbled in the backfield to turn the ball over to Scotland on the Falcon 23.
Five plays later, Ratliffe found receiver Justin Brown on a 20-yard touchdown connection to put the Scots up 13-0. Ben Utter's point-after attempt sailed wide, and soon after the game was delayed and eventually postponed due to storms.
Play resumed Saturday with Scotland kicking off to Seventy-First on what would be a futile drive for the Falcons. The Scots returned the Falcons' punt and drove to their own 43-yard line, where Ratliffe fumbled the ball to Seventy-First.
That turnover would become the Falcons' lone scoring possession of the game. The Falcons chipped away at the Scot defense with short gains by Jolliffe and running back Paul Underwood.
Jolliffe was the Falcons' top gainer, rushing for 67 yards on 15 carries.
Seventy-First scored to end the drive on a 30-yard pass from Jolliffe to Brandon Fife that cut the Scots' lead to 13-6.
"I think we were a little more intense last night than when we came out today," Ratliffe said of his team's play to start Saturday. "We slacked on defense at first."
Seventy-First coach Bob Paroli chalked up the Falcons' struggles to the inexperience of his young squad, which includes just seven seniors.
"Our biggest problem is that for so many of our guys, this is their first time playing in a big-time football game," the coach said. "Really, I thought they did well, and we're proud of them."
Scotland 35, Seventy-First 6
S - Jaylend Ratliffe 11 run (Ben Utter kick)
S - Justin Brown 20 pass from Ratliffe (kick failed)
SF - Brandon Fife 30 pass from Jamel Jolliffe (pass failed)
S - Josh McPhatter 1 run (Utter kick)
S - Jalen McLean 61 pass from Ratliffe (Ratliffe run)
S - Ratliffe 3 run (Utter kick)
Rushing: SF - Jamel Jolliffe 15-67, Marques Lock 1-(2), Jonathan McNeill 6-10, Brandon Fife 5-10, Paul Underwood 8-29. S - Ratliffe 20-93, McLean 9-50, TraShawn Gregory 1-4, McPhatter 6-36, Tre Thomas 5-16.
Passing: SF - Jolliffe 4-12-0 40. S - Ratliffe 8-13-0 193.
Receiving: SF - Fife 2-33, Underwood 1-2, Andre Frank 1-5. S - McLean 1-61, Brown 3-75, Justin Causey 1-15, Tyron Jones 3-42
Records: Seventy-First 0-1, Scotland 1-0
Next game: Seventy-First at Wilmington Hoggard, New Hanover at Scotland
Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at 609-0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.