CHARLOTTE —When Scotland quarterback Bruce Wall suffered an apparent knee injury in the third quarter with his team down 34-6 against Matthews Butler on Saturday, the Fighting Scots quickly had to lean on two backup options.
The first option was to run the wildcat formation with Syheam “Smiley” McQueen taking the snaps. The other option was to have sophomore quarterback Tyler Barfield make his varsity debut.
The Scots did a little bit of both in the final stages of a 47-19 loss to the Bulldogs at the Charlotte Kickoff Night.
Scotland (0-1) managed to score two more touchdowns after Wall’s departure, with the last one being a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Barfield.
“I did what I had to do,” Barfield said.
Scotland head coach Richard Bailey said Wall could potentially be out for an ‘extended period of time’ due to his injury, which he suffered while being tackled on a rush attempt.
Although the team does not yet have a long-term plan for dealing with Wall’s absence, Bailey said Barfield delivered a promising performance.
“He did some good things,” Bailey said. “Butler had a lot of defensive backups in there, but Tyler did some good things.”
The game was stalled for an hour after a lightning delay halted the action with around 30 seconds left in the first quarter.
Butler’s Jamal Worthy put the Bulldogs (1-0) on the scoreboard with a 1-yard touchdown run. With the Scots down 7-0, Wall was sacked as the final seconds of the first quarter ticked away after the delay, preventing Scotland from tying the score before the end of the period.
Butler added to its lead with a 74-yard touchdown pass from Christian Peters to Keyon Lesane early in the second quarter.
The Scots responded with their first touchdown of the night on a 53-yard scramble by Wall, but couldn’t convert on their extra point attempt.
Peters connected with Isiah Burney on a 7-yard touchdown pass to increase Butler’s lead to 20-6, and the Bulldogs followed that with a 4-yard touchdown run by Quasean Holmes to take a 27-6 lead at halftime.
Peters and Lesane connected again on a 12-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter and Navarreo Rorie increased Butler’s lead to 40-6 with a 15-yard run later in the period.
With around two minutes left in the third, McQueen notched 4-yard touchdown run to close Scotland’s deficit to 40-13.
Butler scored once more on a 4-yard run by Holmes in the fourth quarter.
McQueen finished with 88 yards on 18 attempts for the Scots.
Lesane was named the game’s MVP. The N.C. State commit logged 86 yards and two touchdowns on two receptions while also rushing for 60 yards.
“It’s just about encouraging each other,” Bailey said. “We’ve got a lot of young guys and we’ve got a lot to learn. We’ve got to coach and kids have to take coaching.
“In these kinds of times when you’re facing adversity, it shows what kind of person you are, what kind of coach you are, what kind of player you are. We’ll just come back fighting.”
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.