ROCKINGHAM — The marquee matchup of the weekend for the Southeastern Conference turned out to be not so stellar after all.
In the showdown of the SEC’s last two undefeated teams, Scotland raced out to a 61-point halftime lead to hand Pinecrest its first loss of the season.
Elsewhere, Richmond blanked Purnell Swett for the second straight season. Hoke County earned its first conference victory of the year and kept Lumberton winless.
Scotland 75, Pinecrest 28
LAURINBURG — Even though Scotland only had 11 defenders on the field, to Pinecrest it may have seemed like 15 or more.
The Fighting Scots limited the Patriots to nine yards of total offense in the first half, scored twice on defense and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown to jump out to a 61-point lead at halftime before settling for a 75-28 victory.
Scotland’s Robert McCoy scooped up a fumble for a touchdown and added an interception return for a score in the win. Quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe accounted for four touchdowns, rushing for three and throwing for another. Ratliffe finished with 78 yards rushing and 119 passing in two quarters of action.
“The defensive coaches did a wonderful job preparing,” Scotland coach Richard Bailey said to The Laurinburg Exchange. “We felt like we could slow them down. The kids executed it and we were focused. We have athletes and once we got into space against their guys, we have big advantages in speed.”
Pinecrest quarterback Christian Ledbetter had two touchdown runs and Josh McKoy adding one of his own for Pinecrest.
“No disrespect to any team, but that is the best team we’ve ever played since we’ve been here,” Pinecrest coach Chris Metzger said to The Pilot. “We didn’t do what we needed to do and it is our job as coaches to get ready for Purnell Swett, a really hungry team.”
Scotland (8-0, 2-0) will welcome Hoke County to Pate Stadium, while Pinecrest (7-1, 1-1) will play host to Purnell Swett this week.
Hoke County 38, Lumberton 21
RAEFORD — The administration at Lumberton was hoping for a different outcome after making a coaching change, but it was more of the same.
Hoke County scored the game’s final 14 points after Lumberton pulled to within 3, to post a 38-21 victory.
Jacob Rushing and Geoffrey Thompson both rushed for two touchdowns for the Bucks. Former junior varsity quarterback Austin Foley threw for a career-high 308 yards and two scores for the Pirates.
“We’re continuing to shoot ourselves in the foot,” Lumberton interim coach Ron Cook said to The Robesonian. “We just aren’t making the plays we should be making. They hit a couple of deep balls that were under thrown and we didn’t make a play.”
Hoke (2-6, 1-1) will travel to Laurinburg to face Scotland and Lumberton (0-8, 0-2) will head to Raider Stadium to battle Richmond.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @scgolfer.