LAURINBURG — The cycle never ends for Scotland High’s jayvee football team.
Every year, several young running backs cut their teeth with the jayvee Scots on Thursday nights. Before long they’re ready to join Scotland’s perennially powerful varsity running back corps on Friday nights.
“We’re Running Back University up here,” jayvee football coach Thomas Havener said. “We send up five or six sophomore running backs and we get a couple new ones.”
This year is no different. The Scots have several running backs sharing snaps this season, much like their teammates on varsity. Those players had big roles in the jayvee team’s 28-12 win over Marlboro County on Thursday.
“Those were the horses that we were told about,” Havener said. “Jaleel Purvis is a little different because he was an outside transfer. He’s been a nice addition outside of Spring Hill and Carver (middle schools).
“Jahari Brown runs hard. Patrick Primus runs as hard as he can,” Havener added. “That’s what we do here. We develop our running backs, we develop our offensive and defensive personnel, and you see them on Friday nights. That’s my ultimate goal here, to send kids up to varsity and make them productive.”
Scotland was certainly productive early in Thursday’s game against Marlboro, taking a 28-0 halftime lead against their South Carolina border rivals. The Bulldogs scored two touchdowns and held the Scots scoreless in the second half.
Havener told his team after the game that such a lackadaisical second half would come back to haunt them in Sandhills Athletic Conference play.
“In the second half, some of our man coverages got busted up,” Havener said. “They started to throw to their tight end a little bit more. It was weird because in the first half we dominated everything that we needed to take care of. Second half we let up some plays that’s just uncharacteristic of us.
“I told them, if we want to beat the teams we need to beat, we need to play better than giving up 12 points,” he added. “That’s where my disappointment was.”
The first half was a different story. Marlboro hardly could get any positive gains against Scotland’s defense.
“Every single one of them are just very, very hard workers,” Havener said of his defense. “Nick Huff, Ricky Swindell on the inside, and then I got Hunter Callahan and Nick Henderson on the outside. “I’ve got some very good linebackers, I’ve got a very good secondary.”
Havener wants that group to “play up to their ability” for four quarters.
“That’s why in the second half you saw me moping a little bit,” Havener said. “Because I know that we’re better than what we gave up. I know the kids have worked very hard, so that’s what I expect out of them, consistency.”
The jayvee Scots have some extra time to iron things out. They have a bye next week, and they’ll open conference play on Sept. 26 at home against Jack Britt.
Brandon Tester can be reached at [email protected] or 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @BrandonTester.