DURHAM — Scotland County proved why it’s the No. 1 4A team in its region with a dominating 53-31 win over 3A Southern Durham Friday.
The Fighting Scots racked up 507 yards of total offense to stay undefeated.
In the first half, Scotland quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe threw for a touchdown, ran for another and rushed for 170 yards. Running back Jordan Brown also went over the 100-yard mark with 143.
“We played a good team, and we can’t make mistakes against someone of that caliber,” Southern coach Adrian Jones said. “Our defense only stopped them one time and that was on a fumble. That is unacceptable.”
Scotland scored every way imaginable: on the ground, in the air, on a field goal, a safety and a blocked punt returned for a score.
The Scots needed less than three minutes to take a lead they would never relinquish. Scotland drove 70 yards on five plays that culminated in Ratliffe sneaking in from the 3-yard line, and the rout was on.
Scotland built a 23-0 lead before the Spartans could catch their breaths. Wide receiver Trejon Monley scored from 15 yards out before Ratliffe hit wide receiver Logan Hatcher for another. In between was a safety when Southern’s punter stepped out of the end zone in a punt attempt.
The Spartans (1-2) broke the drought with place-kicker’s Leonardo Orozco’s 32-yard field goal with 8:22 left in the first half.
But the Scots struck back quickly with a dazzling 85-yard kickoff return by Robert McKoy. Scotland added two more TDs, including one off a blocked punt to lead 43-3 before Southern scored its first TD of game on running back Toney Bass’ 5-yard scamper to end the half.
The Spartans scored first in the second on a drawn-out 14-play, 85-yard drive that ended with RB Toney Bass bulling in from the 2.
The Scots returned the favor with their own 11-play, 82-yard drive and a 27-yard field goal for a 46-17 lead.
Southern QB Kendall Hinton threw a 56-yard strike to WR Maurice Trowell and ran 37 yards for another score, but the Spartans defense couldn’t contain Scotland’s big linemen.
“The good thing about this is it’s early in the season, and we can learn a lot from playing teams likes these,” Jones said. “I credit the players for not giving up, and we’ll regroup.