LAURINBURG — Despite losing its starting running back to an injury just before halftime, the Scotland football team was able to grab its first win of the season with a 28-12 triumph over Durham Hillside on Friday night.
Syheam “Smiley” McQueen was helped off the field late in the second quarter with an injury to his right leg. McQueen sported a pair of crutches as he rejoined his team on the sideline in the second half.
Details about the injury were not immediately known.
“It’s always good to win, but when you lose one of your best players it’s not a good thing,” Scotland head coach Richard Bailey said.
McQueen rushed for 70 yards on 15 carries and also threw a touchdown pass before his injury.
Darrius Dockery and Joseph “Poppa” McKoy lined up in the backfield for the Fighting Scots (1-1) in the second half. McKoy finished with 73 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries, while Dockery had 60 yards and a touchdown on 11 attempts.
Scotland’s secondary notched five interceptions against Hillside quarterback Damian Harris, who finished 10 for 37 with 161 yards.
Antwone Smith caught two of those interceptions, while Nick Callahan, Ladarrius McNeill and Le’Shaun Tyson-Smith tallied one apiece.
“I thought the defense played very well,” Bailey said. “I was proud of those guys.”
With starting quarterback Bruce Wall out for the rest of the season because of an ACL tear, Tyler Barfield and Mandrell Johnson both saw playing time under center for the Scots. Barfield was the starter and completed six of his 11 passes for a total of 88 yards and one touchdown.
Barfield, a sophomore who took over at quarterback in the third quarter quarter of Scotland’s season opener against Matthews Butler after Wall was injured, said any jitters he had about making his first varsity start quickly faded away.
“I had a little bit (of nerves), but I kind of calmed down a little bit after the first possession,” Barfield said. “Got a little bit better.”
Johnson did not throw a pass and rushed four times for a combined loss of four yards.
“We’ve still got to find a quarterback,” Bailey said. “It’s an ongoing search. We’ll get Mandrell more up to speed for next week.”
Hillside (1-1) took a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter on a 24-yard field goal, and the Scots responded with a 17-yard touchdown run by McKoy, followed by a successful 2-point conversion on a run by McQueen.
Scotland scored again before the end of the first quarter, this time on a 4-yard jump pass from McQueen to Austin Norton.
Hillside’s Antonio Davis scored on a 1-yard run early in the second quarter to trim Scotland’s lead to six points, but an 11-yard touchdown rush by Dockery gave the Scots a 21-10 lead at halftime.
After the Hornets forced a safety in the third quarter, Barfield connected with Trey Chavis for a 34-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to help the Scots secure the victory.
Chavis finished with 82 yards on four catches for the Scots.
Harris tallied 68 rushing yards on 17 carries for the Hornets. Receiver Myles Dillon had 87 yards on six catches.
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.