LAURINBURG — Scotland football coach Richard Bailey called his team’s game on Friday at Seventy-First a “tale of two different quarterbacks.”
“We’re playing two very inexperienced quarterbacks,” Bailey said. “Our quarterbacks have four starts between them, and then you’ve got their guy who has probably started 40 or 50 games on the varsity level.”
Kyler Davis, Seventy-First’s senior quarterback, eclipsed 1,000 passing yards on the season by throwing for 188 yards in a 42-7 win over Lumberton last week.
Scotland’s two sophomore quarterbacks, Tyler Barfield and Mandrell Johnson, have thrown for a combined 269 yards this year.
With their young quarterbacks still getting adjusted to varsity football, Scotland has resorted almost entirely to the run game this season. Running backs Joseph “Poppa” McKoy, Darrius Dockery and Syheam “Smiley” McQueen have been the driving forces of the Scots’ offense.
Davis can run the ball as well, and he’s shown that he can be dangerous when scrambling. The senior rushed for a season-high 128 yards on Sept. 7 against Southern Durham.
Most of the Falcons’ production on the ground comes from senior running back Sincere Bates, who is averaging 120 rushing yards per game this season.
“They’re very balanced on offense,” Bailey said. “They’re 50-50, pass and run. Coach (Duran) McLaurin is traditionally a running coach. He’s like me, kind of an old-school guy.”
Scotland’s running back corps could get a boost on Friday if McQueen makes a full return from an MCL sprain he suffered earlier in the season. McQueen missed two games before returning in overtime last week against Hoke.
McQueen exhibited some heroics against the Bucks, scoring on a short touchdown run and a 2-point conversion to give the Scots a 28-27 victory.
“We’re hopeful. He’s practiced all week,” Bailey said.
McQueen was having trouble getting comfortable with his brace earlier in the week, but he went to get it adjusted on Wednesday.
“The plan is for him to play,” Bailey said. “Hopefully that gives us a little bit of a boost. It did when he played Friday night, even though it was only three plays.”
The game starts at 7:30 p.m. in Fayetteville.
Both teams are 2-0 in Sandhills Athletic Conference play this season. Scotland’s overall record is 3-2, and Seventy-First is 5-1.
Scotland has six consecutive victories against the Falcons since 2009. Two of those wins came last season.
The Scots defeated the Falcons 56-35 at home last year before beating them again, 63-26, in the first round of the state playoffs.
Seventy-First’s last win over Scotland was in 2008, when the Falcons shut them out 25-0.
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.