Fighting Scots cut Raiders perfect season short

34-13 loss gives Raiders No. 2 playoff seed

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery – football
* Photo gallery – Senior Night

ROCKINGHAM — The student section on the home side of Raider Stadium led the chant.

“Defense! Defense!”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Scotland running back Quadrin Williams scored the first touchdown of the game.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Scotland running back Quadrin Williams scored the first touchdown of the game.

The problem was that chant was heard way too often. A beleaguered and beaten Raiders defense struggled to stay alert as Scotland used a time-consuming offensive attack en route to a 34-13 victory over previously undefeated Richmond Senior High School.

The loss drops the Raiders record to 10-1 and gives Scotland (10-1) the Southeastern Conference championship. The loss also makes the road to any hope of a state title that much more difficult, as Richmond is likely to host only one playoff game. The playoff bracket will be released Saturday by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

The Raiders will be the No. 2 seed from the Southeastern Conference. There are three teams from the eastern division that are undefeated. Richmond will host a first-round playoff game on Friday, Nov. 15. The opponent is yet to be determined.

It’s the fourth straight victory for the Fighting Scots over Richmond, including last year’s 49-14 victory in Laurinburg. Scotland improves to 35-12-1 in the historic rivalry against their neighbors.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Fighting Scots wideout Randy Leak burned the Raiders defense deep, and often, Friday night in a 34-13 win over Richmond.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Fighting Scots wideout Randy Leak burned the Raiders defense deep, and often, Friday night in a 34-13 win over Richmond.

Scotland’s opening drive consumed six minutes and four seconds off the clock, capped by a short-yardage scoring run up the middle by Quadrin Williams. The extra point attempt failed. The lengthy possession was only a sign of things to come. The Fighting Scots held onto the ball for 30 minutes and 7 seconds out of 48 minutes of play, or more than 62 percent of the game.

The Raiders allowed 437 yards of offense, including 314 yards on the ground and 123 yards through the air.

Richmond struggled offensively from the start. Before the Raiders could snap the ball on their first possession, they were charged with two false starts. It didn’t get any better after that, as they were forced to punt.

The Raiders pulled to within 6-3 on a field goal by Brandon Greene just before the midway point of the second quarter. Scotland responded with another touchdown drive, this time one that lasted nearly four minutes. The score came on a long pass to high flyer Randy Leak that gave the Scots a 12-3 lead with 6:19 left in the second quarter.

Greene connected with his second field goal of the first half to pull Richmond within 13-6 with 3:01 before intermission. The score didn’t change as the teams headed to the field house at halftime.

Scotland led 27-6 late in the third quarter before Raiders running back Miles Grant scored to cut the gap to 27-13. The touchdown was set up by a reverse to Desmond Marshall for a gain of 28 yards. By then, though, the Scots’ long drives had taken their toll on a now-weary Richmond defense.

It’s the second consecutive game in which Richmond has struggled offensively and the third straight in which the team was held to fewer than 41 points. The Raiders came back to beat Pinecrest last week 28-21 with less than four minutes to play.

 Senior Night

Friday was Senior Night at Raider Stadium. Student-athletes on the football team who are expected to graduate in Spring 2015, along with fellow seniors from the cheerleading squad and Marching Raiders, were recognized with family and friends on the 50-yard-line by head football coach Paul Hoggard, cheerleading coach Meredith Hood and band director Mike Ward.

Playing for Jaquan

It’s unlikely to have had any adverse impact on the game’s outcome, the but Raiders ran through a new banner before the start of Friday night’s contest against arch rival Scotland. It read “Do it for J. Bailey.”

 

IMG_8529

Bailey lost his life in a tragic drowning incident at Blewett Falls Lake on May 31 after going on a fishing trip with friends.

 

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