LAURINBURG — There are 81 days until the Fighting Scots football team takes the field to kick off another season.
The team posted their 2018 schedule on MaxPreps.com this week and it’s going to be an uphill battle. To go along with one of the toughest conferences in the region, the Scots start the season off in Charlotte on Saturday, Aug. 18 against David W. Butler.
Scotland will participate in the sixth annual Charlotte Kickoff Night presented by OrthoCarolina. The Fighting Scots will be the first game of the night taking on Butler at 5 p.m. the nightcap will feature Dutch Fork taking on Mallard Creek at 8 p.m.
Butler (8-3) was eliminated in the second round of the 4AA state playoffs last season by Myers Park.
The Scots will return to Laurinburg on Aug. 24 to take on Durham Hillside. Last season, the Scots had little trouble dispatching the Hornets, 34-21. Hillside finished the 2017 season, 5-6, and were eliminated in the first round of the 3AA playoffs by Eastern Guilford.
Pate Stadium will host Marlboro County on Aug. 31. Severe thunderstorms forced the two teams to cancel their rivalry. Marlboro County finished 3-7 last season and were eliminated in the first round of the South Carolina High School League Class AAAA by Berkeley.
The Scots will have the week of Sept. 7 off for their bye before hosting West Mecklenburg in Week 5. The two teams met last season and the Scots clipped the Hawks, 40-27. West Meck had a down season finishing 8-4 and lost in the first round of the 4A state playoffs to East Forsyth.
Week 6 opens Sandhills Athletic Conference play and as the reigning conference champions will be the team to beat.
Scotland will host a much improved Jack Britt team on Sept. 21. The Scots easily handled the Buccaneers 48-20. Jack Britt finished the season 6-6 under first-year head coach Brian Randolph and are expected to be one of the league’s top teams this season.
The Fighting Scots will end their homestand against Purnell Swett on Sept. 28. After a 3-0 start to the season, the Rams hit a wall losing six in a row and finished 5-7. Purnell fell to the Scots, 57-20 with a running clock in the second half.
The Scots will hit the road in October traveling to Raeford to take on Hoke on Oct. 5. The Bucks welcomed former NFL player George Small as their new head coach after an 0-11 season. Scotland bested the Bucks, 61-12.
Seventy-First will be the Scots opponent on Oct. 12. The Falcons finished 9-4 overall and faced the Scots twice in 2017, once in conference and again in the second round of the playoffs. Both times, Scotland was victorious winning 56-35 during the regular season and 63-26 in the 4A state playoffs.
Scotland will travel to Southern Pines on Oct. 19 to take on Pinecrest. The Patriots finished the season 8-5, losing to the Scots, 47-28, and were eliminated in the second round of the 4AA playoffs by Garner Magnet, 31-21.
The Scots return home on Oct. 26 to take on Lumberton before finishing out the season — as always — against Richmond on Nov. 2 in Rockingham. The Pirates were 2-9 last season and did not advance to the playoffs while the Raiders were 7-5. Richmond lost in the first round of the 4AA playoffs to North Mecklenburg, 27-23.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]