High school football returns to Pate Stadium

Friday night football is back.

After not playing a game for three weeks, the Scotland football team returned to Pate Stadium to face Purnell Swett on Friday night.

The visitors were in a similar predicament. Located in Pembroke, Purnell Swett was also in the path of Hurricane Florence. Like the Scots, the Rams had not played since Aug. 31. A bye week and a pair of storm-related cancellations halted play for both teams.

But on Friday, both sides had a chance to shake off the rust they had gathered over the last month. That rust manifested itself through penalties, cramps and broken plays.

At the end of the night, the Scots walked away with a victory.

Scotland’s 34-11 win over the Rams wasn’t without its blunders, but the Scots still did several things very well.

One of the things the team excelled at was containing Purnell Swett receiver Chandler Brayboy, an Elon commit who is the primary weapon on a team that, like Scotland, lost many of its senior leaders from last season.

Brayboy logged 30 yards and a touchdown on four catches while also rushing for 12 yards on Friday. On defense, Brayboy grabbed the only interception of the game.

Brayboy, who scored all three of Purnell Swett’s touchdowns in the team’s previous game against Douglas Byrd, couldn’t get comfortable against Scotland’s secondary. His touchdown catch came on a 13-yard pass in the fourth quarter.

Scotland also kept pressure on Purnell Swett quarterback Micah Carter all night, as Dashay Singletary and Zymere Reddick logged sacks for the Scots.

It was an impressive effort for the Scots, who played without senior defensive back Tyshoun Thomas as he served the second half of his two-game suspension resulting from an altercation against Durham Hillside.

But one important question still remains for the Scots as they prepare to play at Hoke this week: Who is going to take over at quarterback this season?

Sophomores Tyler Barfield and Mandrell Johnson continued to split time under center against Purnell Swett. Johnson, who started the season as a receiver and moved to quarterback when starter Bruce Wall tore his ACL against Matthews Butler, got the starting nod for the first time this season.

Johnson seemed more comfortable running the offense than he was earlier this season. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the job is his – and with injured running back Syheam “Smiley” McQueen potentially returning this week, the Scots could continue to modify their offensive game plan.

Right now, one thing is for certain: The Fighting Scots were happy to be playing again under the Friday night lights.

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Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.

Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.