Scotland routs Richmond to secure conference championship
Posted October 29, 2011
The Scotland Fighting Scots unleashed 17 years worth of frustration on Richmond Senior on Friday while making history at the same time.
The state's No. 4-ranked 4-A team scored on three of its first four possessions and never looked back in producing a 41-7 rout of the No. 7 Raiders at Pait Stadium that sealed the Southeastern Conference championship.
The triumph over Richmond was the first for Scotland since 1994 - a span of 17 games - and sealed the first perfect regular season ever for the Fighting Scots (10-0, 5-0).
"I've been thinking about this since I was a little kid," Scotland quarterback KwaShaun Quick said. "I watched my brother play here and saw him lose to Richmond. Our fans have been talking about it all week. Last week after we beat Lumberton they were yelling, 'We want Richmond! We want Richmond!'
"This feels great."
A crowd estimated at 8,900 jammed into Pait Stadium in anticipation of the matchup. The parking lots around the stadium were full two hours before kickoff, forcing many fans to park alongside the roads. Lines of fans waiting to enter the stadium stretched into the parking lots and by game time there was standing room only on both the home and visitor sides.
The Fighting Scots feature 37 seniors, many of whom came into the program four years ago when Chip Williams was hired as coach. They endured a 2-9 record as sophomores, then improved to 7-5 last season.
But it was the Raiders (8-2, 3-2) who won the league title in those seasons while stretching their winning streak over Scotland to 17 straight. The Fighting Scots had jumped out to a 21-3 over Richmond last year only to give up 28 unanswered points, and lose again.
All that changed Friday as Scotland jumped on top quickly and never let up until it enjoyed a 41-0 advantage in the final period.
Quick did a lot of the damage with his legs, piling up 174 yards rushing on just eight carries. The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder had 111 of those in the opening half as Scotland rolled to a 28-0 lead.
Scotland marched right down the field with the game's opening possession, scoring in just five plays on Tony McRae's 11-yard run. McRae scored three times in the first half, running in from 6 yards out in the second period and then ending the half by taking a screen pass from Quick 35 yards for a touchdown.
"Our team has been pretty focused the whole year," Williams said. "This is probably the best leadership of any team I've ever had. I think that showed tonight in the way we came out focused from there very start."
The Fighting Scots all but sealed the victory early in the second half when Caison Murphy intercepted a Richmond pass and ran it in from 17 yards out for a 35-0 lead.
Williams removed his starters with 8:29 to play, which allowed the Raiders to finally get on the board against the Fighting Scots reserves.
"I'll tell you what, 10-0 is a lot better than 2-9," said Williams, who was doused with ice by his players in the final minute on a cool, windy evening. "We had some young kids play early the first two years and we couldn't quite put things together. But they persevered and worked hard, and this is the product of that work."
Scotland clinched its first league title since 2001 and will take the league's No. 1 seed into next week's state playoffs.