Jack Britt had no answer for Scotland Friday, as the Scots cruised to a 52-21 win over coach Richard Bailey’s former team.
Scotland’s junior quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe led the offense which scored a touchdown on its first six drives. Ratliffe threw the ball for four touchdowns and 171 yards and ran it in himself from twelve yards out for another score.
The game was touted as one of the best in the state Friday, as Bailey was facing the program he led for 12 years for the second time in as many seasons at Scotland. Last season the Scots came away with a 32-6 victory, but this year’s matchup was expected to be closer.
It was, early. The game was back-and-forth in the first half, but Scotland made crucial adjustments at halftime and changed the game, rolling on to a lopsided win. Afterwards, Bailey said it felt great to win against the program he built at Jack Britt.
“Obviously it’s an emotional win. It’s always going to mean something to win this game … It means a lot. I’m not going to lie. It’s not just another game, it’s important to me personally,” Bailey said.
Jack Britt came out in the first half playing with six offensive linemen, which left the Scotland defense scrambling. Jack Britt scored twice in the first half on rushes of over 50 yards. Edmond Grant ran 58 yards for the first touchdown and Eric Carter ran 51 for the second.
However, the defense came up with a big stop to end the half that changed the mood of the game. After Logan Hatcher caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Ratliffe in the second quarter, Jack Britt was driving the field down 28-14 with just over four minutes left until the half. The Buccaneers were making steady process down the field until the clock caught up to them. With the ball on Scotland’s 20-yard line, Jack Britt ran out of timeouts and had to throw three passes to the end zone due to the little time left on the clock. Scotland’s secondary did not break, and the offense got the ball back to start the second half.
Just as they had done on every other possession in the first half, Scotland drove down the field and scored a touchdown, this time a 22-yard pass to Jalen Tyson.
While much of the attention was on Bailey facing his former school, it was also an emotional win for Scotland defensive coordinator Sean Burnett, who also spent 12 years at Jack Britt. Burnett didn’t leave on great terms, however.
“It feels great, especially when you were told you weren’t a good fit there after everything you did,” Burnett said.
Burnett left Jack Britt and spent a year at Terry Sanford before rejoining Bailey at Scotland this year.
Burnett said Jack Britt came out with a good formation on offense to counter Scotland’s 3-4 defensive formation, but once the coaches got to talk to the players they were able to adjust to it.
“We were scrambling at first … Once we finally adjusted to it the kids played amazing.”
Ultimately, the adjustments Scotland made were crucial. The Scots kept Jack Britt off the scoreboard until the final minutes of the game and forcing three second-half turnovers.
“We adjusted and they couldn’t readjust,” Burnett said.
Afterwards, Bailey said he was happy with how the team responded to a quality opponent.
“We played well, really good on offense. They had no answer for us and we made lots of good adjustments at halftime. We basically shut them out second half so I was proud of that effort,” Bailey said.
Bailey praised the effort of his quarterback.
“Ratliffe, can’t say enough. He wills us to win …Ratliffe did a great job of finding people, scrambling around and doing his thing,” Bailey said.
Ratliffe was taken out in the fourth quarter to let backup quarterback Jaleel McLean take a few snaps. McLean’s first pass was a 62-yard touchdown throw to Trejon Monley.