Published: 12:58 AM, Sat Nov 10, 2012
Scotland roars past Lee County, 56-27
LAURINBURG - Scotland's preparation for second-round playoff opponent Lee County focused on a specific goal, according to linebacker Artemis Robinson: Pressuring that Yellow Jacket offense that racked up some 50-plus points in the opening round against Terry Sanford.
The result was ultimately a 56-27 win for the Scots, but those 27 points for the Jackets came in the second half when the Scots' first-string defense was cooling its heels on the sideline after the Scots jumped out to a 49-0 lead in the opening half.
"Their quarterback is a great athlete," Robinson said. "But our defensive line did a good job of getting in his face, we sat on the passing game and our linebackers shut down the run."
The win earns the top-seeded Scots (11-1), the defending 4-A state champions, a trip to the third round of the NCHSAA playoffs and a chance to host No. 2 seed E.E. Smith.
The Golden Bulls (11-1), a team Scots coach Richard Bailey said could match Scotland "athlete for athlete," ousted Southeast Guilford on Friday, 54-36.
The Scots' athleticism was on display in Friday's contest. Scotland scored on offense, defense and special teams in the opening half.
Running back Josh McPhatter contributed three of the Scots' first-half touchdowns. He ended the night with 63 yards on five carries.
"Josh is an explosive player, and the thing that goes unnoticed sometimes is that Jalen McLean is in there blocking for him," Bailey said. "Tonight, Josh did some blocking, too. He had a tremendous night."
McPhatter nearly added a fourth score to his night's stats in the final quarter when he returned a kickoff 60 yards with only the last effort tackle by the Jackets' kicker keeping him from the end zone.
Quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe was the Scots' top gainer, carrying the ball eight times for 129 yards, including an 80-yard score that put the Scots ahead 35-0 with just under nine minutes to play in the second quarter.
The Jackets, who ended the season at 9-4, struggled against the Scots' starting defense, gaining 106 total yards of offense and committing three turnovers in the first half.
Against the Scots' subs in the second half, Lee County's offense gained traction. Quarterback Chase Arrington ultimately threw for 271 yards, completing 16 of 32 attempts with two interceptions.
Staff writer Jaclyn Shambaugh can be reached at 609-0651 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scotland 56, Lee County 27
S - Josh McPhatter 25 run (Ben Utter kick)
S - Ryan Leak 80 punt return (Utter kick)
S - McPhatter 21 run (Utter kick)
S - McPhatter 13 run (Utter kick)
S - Jaylend Ratliffe 80 run (Utter kick)
S - TraShawn Gregory 33 pass from Ratliffe (Utter kick)
S - Ed Cain 25 fumble return (Utter kick)
LC - T.J. Lett 5 pass from Chase Arrington (Lett pass from Arrington)
LC - James Foushee 12 run (run failed)
LC - Lett 14 pass from Arrington (Ben Grossfuss kick)
LC - Foushee 30 pass from Arrington (run failed)
S - Brodrick McLean 45 interception return (Utter kick)
Rushing: LC - Arrington 16-113, Foushee 15-60, Ray J. McAuley 2-16. S - Ratliffe 8-129, Jalen McLean 7-63, McPhatter 5-63, Quadrin Williams 4-9, Cross Holfert 5-15, Tre Thomas 4-9.
Passing: LC - Arrington 16-32-2 271, Dante Graham 0-1-1 0. S - Ratliffe 5-11-1 67, Holfert 1-6-0 13
Receiving: LC - Tre Wells 1-35, McAuley 2-55, Lett 6-82, Foushee 4-45. S - Tyron Jones 1-7, Justin Brown 2-27, J. McLean 1-2, Gregory 1-33, Afiz Lateef 1-13
Records: Lee County 9-4, Scotland 11-1
Next game: E.E. Smith at Scotland