LAURINBURG — Chandler Brayboy had Scotland’s attention on Friday night.
The Fighting Scots executed their plan to keep the ball out of the Purnell Swett receiver’s hands on their way to a 34-11 victory over the Rams.
After registering just one reception in the first half, Brayboy finished with 30 yards and a touchdown on four catches while also logging 12 rushing yards for the Rams.
With the Elon commit neutralized, Scotland took advantage by jumping out to a 21-3 lead at halftime and kept the Rams out of striking distance in the second half.
“I’m happy,” Scotland coach Richard Bailey said. “I thought our kids competed hard and tried hard for the most part. We did pretty good, especially with not a lot of practice time, really.
“I thought our conditioning was still pretty good. I was a little worried about that. We had a few guys cramping, but you can imagine when you’ve been out as long as we have, that’s the first thing that goes.”
Joseph “Poppa” McKoy had 131 of Scotland’s 212 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns. Darrius Dockery added 48 yards on nine carries.
“We talked about how they’re running it outside almost all week,” said Brayboy, who is also a safety for the Rams. “We came out today and they were busting it straight in our face.”
Sophomore Mandrell Johnson, who started at quarterback on Friday after classmate Tyler Barfield started the previous two games, rushed for 26 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. He completed one of his four passes and threw an interception.
“I played hard and did what I could do to help the team out, and we played really good as a team,” Johnson said.
Barfield took over in the second half, finishing 2 for 3 for 10 yards.
Johnson scored both of Scotland’s two touchdowns in the first quarter. The first was on a 4-yard keeper, and the second was on a 10-yard run.
Purnell Swett kicker Nicholas Ramirez put the Rams on the scoreboard with a 26-yard field goal in the second quarter, but McKoy responded with a 4-yard touchdown run to increase Scotland’s lead to 21-3.
McKoy found the endzone again on a 24-yard run in the third quarter.
Purnell Swett’s offense started to show signs of life late in the fourth quarter. After Scotland’s Jhamari Smith scored on a 4-yard run to make the score 33-3, Brayboy threw a 29-yard pass to Ben Brooks to set the Rams up with a first down on Scotland’s 17-yard line.
Facing a fourth-and-6 on Scotland’s 13-yard line later in the drive, the Rams scored on a 13-yard completion from quarterback Micah Carter to Brayboy. A successful 2-point conversion run by Matthew Locklear gave Purnell Swett its final points of the night.
The Rams had another chance to score in the game’s final minutes. Facing fourth down on Scotland’s 3-yard line, Locklear ran the ball again but was tackled at the 1-yard line.
Carter finished 13 for 24 with 142 yards and a touchdown for Purnell Swett.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Bailey said. “We’re not as good as we should be yet. The exciting part is I think we’re getting a little better.”
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.